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Utility of an infectious and tropical disease histopathology diagnostic review service

Abstract

Aim To assess the utility of a London-based infectious and tropical disease histopathology diagnostic review service.

Methods The original and specialist review histopathology reports of 457 samples from over 3 years of referrals were compared retrospectively.

Results Overall 329 (72.0%) showed no significant difference; 34 (7.4%) showed a non-clinically significant difference; and 94 (20.6%) showed a clinically significant difference. Of the 94 clinically significant discrepancies, 46 (48.9%) were incorrectly suspected infections; 19 (20.2%) were missed infections; 8 (8.5%) were different infections; and in 20 (21.3%), the specialist review yielded more specific identification of an organism or a more correct assessment of its viability.

Conclusions A review of histopathology cases by an infectious disease (ID) histopathology referral centre has yielded a 20.6% clinically significant error rate. Measures to improve training in ID histopathology in the UK are discussed.

  • histopathology
  • infections
  • clinical infectious diseases
  • diagnostics
  • laboratory management
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