ANATOMICAL PATHOLOGY| Volume 55, ISSUE 4, P486-491, June 2023

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The impact of additional pathology analysis on the diagnosis and management of soft tissue tumours: a 10-year retrospective study


      In order to characterise soft tissue tumours, pathologists often utilise specialised additional tests, or may seek opinions from subspecialist pathologists due to rarity or complex morphology. Additionally, further review may be sought by subspecialist sarcoma pathologists, such as those at our tertiary referral centre in Sydney, Australia. The aim of this study was to examine the impact on diagnosis and management of this external review, following diagnosis at a specialised sarcoma unit.
      We collated the results of all additional external ancillary tests and specialist reviews over a 10-year period and characterised the impact on the preliminary diagnosis as ‘confirmed’, ‘new’ or ‘no clear diagnosis’. We subsequently noted whether the additional findings resulted in a clinically significant change in management.
      Of the 136 cases sent away, 103 patients had their initial diagnosis confirmed, 29 patients received a new diagnosis and, for four patients, the diagnosis remained uncertain. Nine of the 29 patients receiving a new diagnosis had their management altered.
      This study demonstrated that within our specialised sarcoma unit, the majority of diagnoses provided by our specialist pathologists are confirmed on additional external testing and review, but external review does provide additional assurance and benefit to the patient.

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