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With the increasing amount of published papers and the need for evidence-based guidelines for diagnostics and treatment, it becomes of utmost importance to assess the quality of publications. The highest degrees of evidence in medicine are based on prospectively randomised clinical trials. In histopathology, trials are virtually non-existing and prospective studies are still relatively rare. The majority of our practice is based on retrospective studies, quite often from single centres.
Higher levels of evidence can be reached by systematic reviews of the existing literature and meta-analyses, that are increasingly present in the literature (figure 1).1 These meta-analyses are also important to provide information about the prognostic value of traditional factors, against which new diagnostic tools can be compared. However, …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.