To the Editor.—
In the unusual case here described, artifact caused by accidental exposure to heat of a surgical specimen from a tubal ligation led to the initial pathologic diagnosis of adenocarcinoma of the fallopian tube. Although the circumstances which occasioned this mistake are rare, awareness of this potential source of diagnostic error is worthwhile, since prior knowledge is all that is necessary for its complete avoidance.
Report of a Case.—
A 41-year-old married woman, gravida, para 4, was admitted for evaluation of recurrent intermenstrual spotting, which had previously occurred in 1956 and 1966; both episodes responded to dilatation and curettage. The remainder of the medical history was noncontributory. Pelvic examination showed a healthy lower genital tract, a normal uterus, and normal adnexa. A dilatation and curettage and Pomeroy tubal ligation were performed. No gross abnormalities were noted at surgery.The curettings were diagnosed histologically as early secretory endometrium. On
Cornog JL, Currie JL, Rubin A. Heat Artifact Simulating Adenocarcinoma of Fallopian Tube. JAMA. 1970;214(6):1118–1119. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180060092022