Clinical impact of second pathology opinion: a longitudinal study of central genitourinary pathology review before prostate brachytherapy

Brachytherapy. Apr-Jun 2007;6(2):135-41. doi: 10.1016/j.brachy.2006.10.003.


Purpose: To evaluate the clinical impact of pathology review before prostate brachytherapy.

Methods and materials: Original and reviewing pathologists' reports were retrospectively collected from 1323 men treated with prostate brachytherapy between July 1998 and October 2005 at one institution. Statistical analysis was performed pre- and post-January 2002. The clinical impact of pathology review was evaluated.

Results: Gleason Score (GS) change (GS(Delta)) occurred in 25.2% (334) of cases; GS increased in 21.6%, decreased in 2.4%, and diagnosed malignancy in 1.2% of cases. Post-2002, concordance in attributed GS improved, with GS(Delta) of 31.9-20.6%, respectively (p<0.001), and a reduction in the average GS(Delta) (p<0.001). The clinical impact was substantial with management changing in 14.8% of cases.

Conclusion: Concordance between the original and reviewing pathologists' GS has improved during the study period. Nevertheless, discordance persists in one of five cases. Pathology review remains essential, if treatment decisions hinge on GS.

MeSH terms

  • Brachytherapy*
  • British Columbia
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Observer Variation
  • Pathology, Clinical* / trends
  • Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia / pathology*
  • Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia / radiotherapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Referral and Consultation* / trends
  • Research Design
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urogenital System / pathology