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Snippets in surgical pathology
  1. Kumarasen Cooper (,
  2. Runjan Chetty (

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This section features synopses of pertinent practical publications that appear in pathology journals in the respective sub-specialties. The summaries are mere guidelines and personal opinions of the two authors. The articles selected are diverse but occasionally reflect the authors’ bias and are from the more widely read pathology journals. It is not intended to be an assiduous search of every publication in every Pathology journal, but more of a general indication of some of the monthly highlights through the eyes of the authors.

Hopefully, these snippets will provide the reader with enough to glean some facts and tips, as well as encourage them to read the entire article if necessary.


Cserni G. Commentary on in-transit lymph node metastases in breast cancer: a possible source of local recurrence after sentinel node procedure. J Clin Pathol 2008;61:1233–5.

An excellent editorial on in-transit lymph node metastases as applicable to breast cancer. While in “transit metastases” has its roots in describing intralymphatic (not nodal) melanoma deposits (to distinguish them from satellite deposits), in breast cancer the term refers to small lymph node deposits. Dr Cserni does a splendid job of explaining and contextualising this entity. See page 1314.

Symposium on the placenta. J Clin Pathol 2008;61:1243–302.

A compendium of review papers on the placenta. In many centres devoid of specialist perinatal pathologists, examination of the placenta is the responsibility of reluctant participants! These articles are meant to help the “non-expert” pathologist navigate the placenta; the topics include the normal anatomy of the placenta through to some common clinical scenarios in which the placental examination may be important and/or useful to making a diagnosis. The papers are lavishly illustrated with colour images of gross placentae and as well microscopic images. Perhaps after reading this, the trays of sections of the placenta …

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