Towards a More Standardized Approach to Pathologic Reporting of Pancreatoduodenectomy Specimens for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: Cross-continental and Cross-specialty Survey From the Pancreatobiliary Pathology Society Grossing Working Group

Am J Surg Pathol. 2021 Oct 1;45(10):1364-1373. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000001723.


In recent literature and international meetings held, it has become clear that there are significant differences regarding the definition of what constitutes as margins and how best to document the pathologic findings in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. To capture the current practice, Pancreatobiliary Pathology Society (PBPS) Grossing Working Group conducted an international multispecialty survey encompassing 25 statements, regarding pathologic examination and reporting of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, particularly in pancreatoduodenectomy specimens. The survey results highlighted several discordances; however, consensus/high concordance was reached for the following: (1) the pancreatic neck margin should be entirely submitted en face, and if tumor on the slide, then it is considered equivalent to R1; (2) uncinate margin should be submitted entirely and perpendicularly sectioned, and tumor distance from the uncinate margin should be reported; (3) all other surfaces (including vascular groove, posterior surface, and anterior surface) should be examined and documented; (4) carcinoma involving separately submitted celiac axis specimen should be staged as pT4. Although no consensus was achieved regarding what constitutes R1 versus R0, most participants agreed that ink on tumor or at and within 1 mm to the tumor is equivalent to R1 only in areas designated as a margin, not surface. In conclusion, this survey raises the awareness of the discordances and serves as a starting point towards further standardization of the pancreatoduodenectomy grossing and reporting protocols.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy / standards
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / surgery*
  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Margins of Excision
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy*
  • Pathology, Surgical / standards*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Specimen Handling / standards*
  • Treatment Outcome