Comparative study of ovarian cancer histopathology by registry pathologists and referral pathologists: a study by the Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry

Gynecol Oncol. 2000 Aug;78(2):166-70. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2000.5840.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether there is a significant difference in the pathology diagnoses of women in the Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry between the two expert Registry pathologists and the referral pathologist. Inaccuracies in verification that ovarian cancer did occur in family members could lead to unnecessary prophylactic surgery or genetic testing.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed of (1) site of malignancy; (2) histopathology of malignancy; (3) grade of malignancy; and (4) the presence or absence of malignancy between the Registry and referral pathologists.

Results: There was 95.3% complete agreement between the Registry and the referral pathologist on site of origin with a major difference in only 1.0% of the cases. In comparison of histopathology, there was a 61.7% complete agreement, and only 1.0% were considered major differences. There was 68.8% complete agreement in grade of the malignancy, whereas 2.3% were considered major differences.

Conclusion: When constructing a family pedigree, it is important to obtain pathology reports to confirm the index case diagnosis of the presence or absence of ovarian cancer. However, because of the small percentage of major differences in diagnosis between the two Registry pathologists and the multiple referral pathologists, we believe genetic counselors and treating physicians can rely, in most instances, on the original histopathology report of verification of ovarian cancer without review of the original histopathology slides when recommending surveillance, genetic testing, and/or prophylactic surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Observer Variation
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pathology, Clinical / standards*
  • Registries / standards
  • Retrospective Studies