A Binary Architectural Grading System for Uterine Endometrial Endometrioid Carcinoma Has Superior Reproducibility Compared With FIGO Grading and Identifies Subsets of Advance-Stage Tumors With Favorable and Unfavorable Prognosis

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The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) grading of uterine endometrial endometrioid carcinoma requires evaluation of histologic features that can be difficult to assess, including recognition of small amounts of solid growth, distinction of squamous from nonsquamous solid growth, and assessment of degree of nuclear atypia. The authors describe a novel, binary architectural grading system that uses low-magnification assessment of amount of solid growth, pattern of invasion, and presence of necrosis to divide endometrioid carcinomas into low-and high-grade tumors. The authors analyzed its performance for predicting prognosis and with respect to intra-and interobserver reproducibility. A total of 141 endometrioid carcinomas from hysterectomy specimens were graded according to the FIGO system, nuclear grading, and the binary architectural system. A tumor was classified as high grade if at least two of the following three criteria were present: (1) more than 50% solid growth (without distinction of squamous from nonsquamous epithelium); (2) a diffusely infiltrative, rather than expansive, growth pattern; and (3) tumor cell necrosis. For tumors that were confined to the endometrium, only percent solid growth and necrosis were evaluated, and those with both solid growth of more than 50% and necrosis were considered high grade. All tumors were graded independently by three pathologists on two separate occasions. Both inter-and intraobserver agreement using the binary grading system (κ = 0.65 and 0.79) were superior compared with FIGO (κ = 0.55 and 0.67) and nuclear grading (κ = 0.22 and 0.41). The binary grading system stratified patients into three distinct prognostic groups. Patients with stage I low-grade tumors with invasion confined to the inner half of the myometrium (stages IA and IB) had a 100% 5-year survival rate. Patients with low-grade tumors that invaded beyond the outer half of the myometrium (stage IC and stages II–IV) and those with high-grade tumors with invasion confined to the myometrium (stages IB and IC) had a 5-year survival rate of 67% to 76%. In striking contrast to patients with advance-stage low-grade tumors, patients with advance-stage high-grade tumors had a 26% 5-year survival rate. This binary grading system has advantages over FIGO and nuclear grading that permit greater interobserver and intraobserver reproducibility and should be tested in other studies of endometrial endometrioid carcinomas to validate its reproducibility and use for segregating patients into different prognostic groups.

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