Diagnostic concordance of histologic lung cancer type between bronchial biopsy and cytology specimens taken during the same bronchoscopic procedure

Melanie K. Sackett, Diva R. Salomão, Janis L. Donovan, Eunhee S. Yi, Marie Christine Aubry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Context.-The diagnosis of lung cancer is often confirmed by cytology and biopsy specimens obtained during a bronchoscopic procedure. At our institution, these specimens are read by different pathologists, and the rate ofconcordance was not known. Objectives.-To evaluate the concordance rate in the diagnosis of lung cancer types between cytology and biopsy specimens and to correlate discordancewith patient outcome. Design.-Specimens obtained during the same procedure, between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2005, were identified. Cases with cytology and biopsy specimens positive for cancer were evaluated for concordance of histologic type, small cell versus non-small cell lung carcinoma. Cases with different types were considered discordant, and slides were reviewed. Results.-Of 231 cases, 225 (97.4%) had concordant diagnoses. Discordance was the result of misinterpretation of undifferentiated carcinoma, overinterpretation of squamous dysplasia, interpretation of suboptimal specimens with necrosis and crush artifact, and sampling error. Conclusions.-Even though the cytology and biopsy specimens were reviewed by different pathologists, the concordance rate for histologic type at our institution was high, emphasizing that this is a safe practice. The few discordant cases did not affect the patient's outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1504-1512
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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