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Melanoma histopathology reporting: are we complying with the National Minimum Dataset?
  1. Manjit R Kaur1,
  2. Peter S Colloby2,
  3. Agustin Martin-Clavijo1,
  4. Jerry R Marsden1
  1. 1Skin Oncology Service, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Birmingham Foundation Trust, Selly Oak Hospital, Selly Oak, UK
  2. 2Skin Oncology Service, Department of Histopathology, University Hospital Birmingham Foundation Trust, Selly Oak Hospital, Selly Oak, UK
  1. Dr Manjit R Kaur, University Hospital Birmingham Foundation Trust, Selly Oak Hospital, Raddlebarn Road, Selly Oak B29 6JD, UK; manjitkaur77{at}


Baclground: The Royal College of Pathologists introduced the National Minimum Dataset (NMDS) for the histopathological reporting of cutaneous melanoma in February 2002.

Aim: To determine if histological reporting of invasive primary cutaneous melanoma in the West Midlands region of the UK 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% to 20%) reports were fully compliant with the NMDS. Of the non-complaint reports, 45/361 (12%) (95% CI 9% to 16%) reported all staging and clinically relevant parameters; 62/361 (17%) (95% CI 59% to 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%).

Conclusion: There was slow uptake of the NMDS in this region in the year following its introduction. Although major parameters required for staging were more consistently reported, ulceration and microsatellites were less frequently reported.

  • melanoma
  • pathology reporting
  • National Minimum Dataset
  • NMDS, National Minimum Dataset

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  • Competing interests: None declared.