Objective: We reviewed patient records in our tertiary care teaching hospital to assess the value of the mandatory slide review policy in gynecologic oncology with emphasis on completeness of reports.
Methods: Cases reviewed between October 2001 to September 2002 were studied. Clinical information was gathered from discussions at the weekly tumor board and from chart review. The standardized reporting guidelines in benchmark surgical pathology textbooks were used to assess the completeness of original pathology reports of excisional specimens. Diagnostic discrepancies were classified as major if the resultant change led to alteration of management or minor if it did not.
Results: Three hundred fifty-one cases were reviewed; 173 biopsies and 178 excisional specimens. Only 140 (78.7%) of the original pathology reports of the latter group conformed to standardized reporting guidelines. Of the 38 incomplete reports, 18 were missing critical information necessary for planning of further therapy, representing 10.1% of reports of all excisional specimens. We agreed with the original diagnosis in 252 cases (71.8%). Minor discrepancies were noted in 70 (19.9%) and major discrepancies in 29 cases (8.3%). No major discrepancy resulted from reviewing any of the vulvar specimens or cases that were already reviewed by gynecologic pathologists of other academic institutes.
Conclusion: Mandatory slide review in gynecologic oncology is an important component in the management of gynecologic cancer patients because it completes reporting on missing parameters required for planning subsequent therapy in 10.1% of cases and recognizes discrepancies altering management in 8.3% of patients.