Improvement in quality of colorectal cancer pathology reporting with a standardized proforma – a comparative study


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

BackgroundHistopathological evaluation is a critical component in the management of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). It is the single most powerful prognostic indicator in CRC and determines if adjuvant chemotherapy is indicated. The aim of this study was to assess if the introduction of a comprehensive standardized pathology proforma improved the quality of histopathology reporting.MethodsA standardized pathology proforma, based on the 1996 minimum dataset for colorectal histopathology reporting, was introduced in our pathology department in 1998. Pathology reports for all colonic resection specimens for 1996 (n = 85) and 2000 (n = 86) were identified, retrieved and entered on to database. Comparison was made with the minimum dataset published in the 1996 guidelines for the management of colorectal cancer.ResultsDemographic details were complete in all cases. Clinical data was incomplete in 57 (67%) patients in 1996 and 63 (73%) in 2000 (ns; χ2). There were 24 (28%) (7 Abdomino-perineal resections (APER)) and 40 (47%) (17 APER's) rectal specimens for 1996 and 2000, respectively. The presence or absence of pathological background abnormalities were commented on in 18 (21%) reports in 1996 and 80 (93%) reports in 2000 (P < 0.01; Fishers exact test (Fisher)). Histological differentiation was commented on in 73 (86%) and 86 (100%) in 1996 and 2000, respectively (P < 0.01; Fisher). Dukes' stage was stated in 33 (39%) reports in 1996 and 86 (100%) in 2000 (P < 0.01; Fisher) but Dukes' stage was calculable in 84 (99%) in 1996 and 86 reports (100%) for 2000 (ns; Fisher). The apical node was commented on in 34 (40%) reports in 1996 and 85 (99%) reports in 2000 (P < 0.01; Fisher). The median (IQR) number of nodes assessed in 1996 was 8 (5–12) compared to 12 (8–17) in 2000 (P < 0.001; Mann–Whitney (MW)). Complete resection was mentioned in 74 (87%) reports in 1996 and 86 (100%) in 2000 (P < 0.01; Fisher). Regarding rectal specimens, the circumferential resection margin (CRM) was commented on in 19 of 24 specimens in 1996 and 38 of 40 specimens in 2000 (ns; Fisher). Relationship to the peritoneal reflection was commented on in 1 (1%) rectal specimen in 1996 and 30 (35%) in 2000 (P < 0.001; Fisher).ConclusionThe introduction of a standardized proforma for reporting CRC resection specimens improves the quality of histopathological reporting. This aids decision-making regarding adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy and further surveillance.

    loading  Loading Related Articles