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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.


Søreide K. Receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis in diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarker research. J Clin Pathol 2009;62:1–5.

A very good overview of biomarker statistics with an exposé on receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis which provides an objective statistical method to assess the diagnostic accuracy of a test.

Badve S, Nakshatri H. Oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer: towards bridging histopathological and molecular classifications. J Clin Pathol 2009;62:6–12.

Another excellent review in the “Demystified” series explores ER-positive breast cancers, demonstrating a broader spread of these tumours (low-grade ER+ [luminal A] must be differentiated from high-grade/increased proliferative ER+ tumours). The attempt to bridge histopathology and molecular classification sees the different pathways of ER biology being discussed.


Laskin WB, Miettinen M, Fetsch JF. Infantile digital fibroma/fibromatosis: a clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of 69 tumors from 57 patients with long-term follow-up. Am J Surg Pathol 2009;33:1–13.

A revisit of infantile digital fibromatosis (fibroma) characterised by a dome/polypoid subepidermal proliferation of myofibroblasts with paranuclear cytoplasmic inclusions (α SMA, desmin, calponin, CD99: positive). The vast majority occur in the toe or finger. Mitoses ranged from 0 to 7 per 20 HPF. Note …

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