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Errors in prostate core biopsy diagnosis in an era of specialisation and double reporting


Aim To examine the effects of specialist reporting on error rates in prostate core biopsy diagnosis.

Method Biopsies were reported by eight specialist uropathologists over 3 years. New cancer diagnoses were double-reported and all biopsies were reviewed for the multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting. Diagnostic alterations were recorded in supplementary reports and error rates were compared with a decade previously.

Results 2600 biopsies were reported. 64.1% contained adenocarcinoma, a 19.7% increase. The false-positive error rate had reduced from 0.4% to 0.06%. The false-negative error rate had increased from 1.5% to 1.8%, but represented fewer absolute errors due to increased cancer incidence.

Conclusions Specialisation and double-reporting have reduced false-positive errors. MDT review of negative cores continues to identify a very low number of false-negative errors. Our data represents a ‘gold standard’ for prostate biopsy diagnostic error rates. Increased use of MRI-targeted biopsies may alter error rates and their future clinical significance.

  • prostate
  • carcinoma
  • diagnosis
  • clinical audit
  • morphological and microscopic findings

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