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Observer variability in histopathological reporting of malignant bronchial biopsy specimens.
  1. R A Burnett,
  2. J Swanson Beck,
  3. S R Howatson,
  4. F D Lee,
  5. A M Lessells,
  6. K M McLaren,
  7. S Ogston,
  8. A J Robertson,
  9. J G Simpson,
  10. G D Smith
  1. University of Glasgow Department of Pathology, Western Infirmary.

    Abstract

    AIMS--To evaluate the ability of histopathologists to classify lung carcinomas on bronchial biopsy material using the current World Health Organisation (WHO) classification. METHODS--Eleven histopathologists each reviewed 100 randomly selected bronchial biopsy specimens which had originally been reported as showing lung carcinoma. A single haematoxylin and eosin stained section from each case was circulated and a standard proforma completed. These were analysed using kappa statistics. RESULTS--The histopathologists were excellent at distinguishing between small cell and non-small-cell carcinoma kappa = 0.86), but not so good at subclassifying the non-small cell carcinoma group kappa = 0.25). CONCLUSIONS--The clinically important distinction between small cell and non-small cell carcinoma of the lung is reliably made by competent histopathologists even on limited material.

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