Utility of Routine Pathologic Examination for Fasciectomy for Dupuytren Contracture

J Hand Surg Am. 2022 Aug 3;S0363-5023(22)00259-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2022.04.012. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: The objective of this study was to examine the routine pathologic examination of surgical specimens obtained during fasciectomy for Dupuytren contracture.

Methods: A total of 376 consecutive patients who underwent surgical limited fasciectomy with the excised tissue sent for histopathologic evaluation were identified. Patients were excluded for miscoded procedures, cases where no tissue was sent for pathologic review, and excisions of nodules only. Repeat surgeries in the same patient during the study period were excluded. The rates of concordant, discrepant, and discordant diagnoses were reported. Discrepant diagnoses were defined as different clinical diagnosis and pathologic diagnosis that did not change clinical management. Discordant diagnoses were defined as a different clinical diagnosis and a pathologic diagnosis that altered the treatment plan. The reference standard for final clinical decision-making was the pathologic diagnosis.

Results: The prevalence of concordant diagnoses was 97.1% (365 of 376), of discrepant diagnoses was 2.9% (11 of 376), and there were no discordant diagnoses. Of 376 patients, 43 underwent previous surgical fasciectomy before the study surgery, and pathologic examination was obtained in 10 of these patients. All 10 patients had concordant diagnoses.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that routine pathologic examination did not alter the future treatment plan for patients who underwent limited fasciectomy. Discrepant diagnoses were encountered infrequently, and rarely in the setting of revision fasciectomy. Discordant diagnoses did not occur. Given the cost associated with pathologic evaluation, this raises the question of whether routine pathologic evaluation is necessary for Dupuytren surgery, where the capability of the treating surgeon to make a clinical diagnosis accurately may render confirmatory pathologic assessment redundant.

Type of study/level of evidence: Diagnostic II.

Keywords: Dupuytren’s contracture; cost analysis; fasciectomy; pathology; value-based.