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Comment & Response
July 7, 2015

Discordant Interpretations of Breast Biopsy Specimens by Pathologists—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle
  • 2Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle
  • 3University of Vermont School of Medicine, Burlington
JAMA. 2015;314(1):83-84. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.6239

In Reply We emphasized in our article that evaluating the overall diagnostic system was not our objective. We studied diagnostic variation at the level of the individual pathologist reviewing a routinely stained slide because this is the starting point of every microscopic diagnosis. We documented very high variation for breast atypia and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). While our study also explored whether pathologists considered cases to be borderline or would request second opinions or additional information, these results were not reported in the article in detail but will be included in upcoming publications. Among the 6900 interpretations, 1803 (26.1%) were considered borderline and participants indicated they would desire a second opinion on 2451 (35.5%) of the interpretations.

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