To the Editor: In the study reported by Drs Stoler and Schiffman,1 there was a surprisingly high degree of variability in the interpretation of results of histologic and cytologic cervical specimens. Considering the modest degree of reproducibility in these academic centers, this is surely a cause for humility. There are, however, inherent difficulties with such interpretations. Each cell in a cytologic preparation represents a point in a continuum from normal to neoplastic, but a diagnosis represents a summary of decisions about the significance of many cells at different stages. The reproducibility of a diagnosis of individual cells would be another interesting study of reproducibility.
Mulkey DA. Interobserver Agreement About Cervical Cytologic and Histologic Diagnosis. JAMA. 2001;285(22):2855-2856. doi:10.1001/jama.285.22.2855