Measuring the value of review of pathology material by a second pathologist

Am J Clin Pathol. 2006 May;125(5):737-9. doi: 10.1309/6A0R-AX9K-CR8V-WCG4.


In many departments, some cases are reviewed routinely by a second pathologist within the same department before sign out. The value of this practice is not known. We reviewed and compared the disagreement and amendment rates for cases reviewed by 1 or more pathologists based on the results of blinded review. A total of 8,363 cases underwent blinded review, and of these, 1,087 (13.0%) were reviewed by more than 1 pathologist before sign out. The disagreement rate for cases reviewed by more than 1 pathologist (4.8%) was significantly lower than for cases reviewed by only 1 pathologist (6.9%; P = .004). The amendment rate decreased to 0.0% from 0.5%, but this decrease was not statistically significant (P = .12). Review of material by a second pathologist before sign out is associated with a lower disagreement rate. These results suggest second review of surgical pathology is of value, but the best selection of cases to be reviewed remains to be defined.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Errors / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Observer Variation
  • Pathology, Surgical / methods*
  • Pathology, Surgical / standards
  • Quality Control
  • Referral and Consultation* / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Single-Blind Method