(HealthDay News) – Fewer diagnostic discrepancies are seen for pathologists with dermatopathology fellowship training, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Sudeep Gaudi, MD, from the University of South Florida in Tampa, and colleagues reviewed outside pathology reports for material sent to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Dermatopathology Unit over one year. They compared the diagnosis rendered by the referral dermatopathology service with that of the outside diagnosis for 405 cases.

In 13% of cases, no preliminary diagnosis was rendered at the outside facility. The researchers found a difference between the referral diagnosis and the outside diagnosis in 56% of cases, and that major discrepancies were noted in 22% of cases. Of the 91 cases with major discrepancies, seven were received from outside pathologists with dermatopathology training and 84 were received from outside pathologists who were not dermatopathology trained. Of the cases with major discrepancies, 40% were categorized as non-melanocytic neoplasms, 33% inflammatory, 25% melanocytic neoplasms, and 2% other.

“We objectively conclude that dermatopathologists and second-opinion dermatopathology offer a positive impact on patient care according to the accepted standards of care and are valuable tools for ensuring patient safety and receipt of accurate treatment,” the authors write.

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