Aim: The Royal College of Pathologists introduced the National Minimal Dataset (NMDS) for the histopathological reporting of cutaneous melanoma in February 2002. The aim of this retrospective audit was to determine if histological reporting of invasive primary cutaneous melanoma in our region was compliant with the NMDS.
Methods: Reports were identified from March 2002 to March 2003 via the regional Cancer Intelligence Unit, and compared with the NMDS. If all items of the NMDS were adhered to, the report was considered compliant. If not compliant, the report was checked to see if it included selected clinical and staging parameters.
Results: 543 cases of invasive cutaneous melanoma were identified, but only 407 reports were analysed. 69/407 (17%) (95% CI 14 -20%) of reports were fully compliant with the NMDS. Of those non-complaint reports, 45/361 (12%) (95% CI 9 -16%) reported all staging and clinically relevant parameters. 62/361 (17%) (95% CI 59 - 65%) reported all staging parameters. Breslow thickness was reported in all but one of the reports (99.7%); Clark’s level was reported in 344/407 (85%); ulceration in 280/407 (69%); and microsatellites in 146/407 (36%) cases.
Conclusion: In conclusion, our regional audit has demonstrated that there was slow uptake of the NMDS in our region in the year following its introduction. Although major parameters required for staging were more consistently reported, ulceration and microsatellites were less frequently reported.
- Minimum dataset
- Pathology reporting