Appropriate use criteria for ancillary diagnostic testing in dermatopathology: New recommendations for 11 tests and 220 clinical scenarios from the American Society of Dermatopathology Appropriate Use Criteria Committee

J Cutan Pathol. 2022 Mar;49(3):231-245. doi: 10.1111/cup.14135. Epub 2021 Oct 19.


Background: Appropriate use criteria (AUC) provide patient-centered physician guidance in test selection. An initial set of AUC was reported by the American Society of Dermatopathology (ASDP) in 2018. AUC reflect evidence collected at single timepoints and may be affected by evolving evidence and experience. The objective of this study was to update and expand AUC for selected tests.

Methods: RAND/UCLA (RAND Corporation [Santa Monica, CA]/University of California Los Angeles) methodology used includes the following: (a) literature review; (b) review of previously rated tests and previously employed clinical scenarios; (c) selection of previously rated tests for new ratings; (d) development of new clinical scenarios; (e) selection of additional tests; (f) three rating rounds with feedback and group discussion after rounds 1 and 2.

Results: For 220 clinical scenarios comprising lymphoproliferative (light chain clonality), melanocytic (comparative genomic hybridization, fluorescence in situ hybridization, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter), vascular disorders (MYC), and inflammatory dermatoses (periodic acid-Schiff, Gömöri methenamine silver), consensus by panel raters was reached in 172 of 220 (78%) scenarios, with 103 of 148 (70%) rated "usually appropriate" or "rarely appropriate" and 45 of 148 (30%), "appropriateness uncertain."

Limitations: The study design only measures appropriateness. Cost, availability, test comparison, and additional clinical considerations are not measured. The possibility that the findings of this study may be influenced by the inherent biases of the dermatopathologists involved in the study cannot be excluded.

Conclusions: AUC are reported for selected diagnostic tests in clinical scenarios that occur in dermatopathology practice. Adhering to AUC may reduce inappropriate test utilization and improve healthcare delivery.

Keywords: Grocott-Gömöri; Gömöri methenamine silver; RAND/UCLA appropriateness method; TERT promoter; ancillary studies; angiosarcoma; appropriate use criteria; cMYC; choosing wisely; dermatitis; dermatology; dermatopathology; dermatophytosis; diagnosis; evidence-based medicine; expert rating; immunohistochemistry; in situ hybridization; kappa; lambda; lymphoma; onychomycosis; pathology; periodic acid-Schiff; tinea.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Dermatology / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards
  • Humans
  • Pathology, Clinical / standards*
  • Skin Diseases / pathology*
  • Societies, Medical
  • United States