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      Stem Cells, Pre-neoplasia, and Early Cancer of the Upper Gastrointestinal Tract 

      What Makes an Expert Barrett’s Histopathologist?

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          Dysplasia in inflammatory bowel disease: standardized classification with provisional clinical applications.

          Assessment of epithelial dysplasia in ulcerative colitis has been hindered by inconsistencies in and disagreements about nomenclature and interpretation. To resolve these issues, pathologists from ten institutions participated in three exchanges of multiple slides and, following each exchange, in discussions of the results. A classification system for the epithelial changes that occur in ulcerative colitis was developed, which should be applicable to other forms of inflammatory bowel disease as well. The classification makes use of standardized terminology, addresses specific problem areas, and offers practical solutions. The reproducibility of the system was studied by means of examinations of both inter- and intra-observer variations. The clinical implications of the findings were incorporated into suggestions for patient management. The basis of the classification is that the term "dysplasia" is reserved for epithelial changes that are unequivocally neoplastic and may therefore give rise directly to invasive carcinoma. Specimens are categorized as negative, indefinite, or positive for dysplasia. The negative category includes all inflammatory and regenerative lesions and indicates that only continued regular surveillance is required. The indefinite category is applied to epithelial changes that appear to exceed the limits of ordinary regeneration but are insufficient for an unequivocal diagnosis of dysplasia or are associated with other features that prevent such unequivocal diagnosis. Clinically, it indicates that early repeat biopsy is often required to assess the changes more accurately. The positive category is divided into two subcategories: 1) high-grade dysplasia, for which colectomy should be strongly considered after confirmation of the diagnosis, and 2) low-grade dysplasia, which also requires confirmation and early repeat biopsy or colectomy, depending on other findings.
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            Observer variation in the diagnosis of dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus.

            The potential value of biopsy surveillance of patients with Barrett's esophagus for dysplasia is diminished by a lack of agreement on the diagnostic criteria for dysplasia. In a preliminary consensus conference, experienced gastrointestinal pathologists from four medical centers agreed on criteria for a five-tiered histologic classification of dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus--negative for dysplasia, indefinite for dysplasia, low-grade dysplasia, high-grade dysplasia, and intramucosal carcinoma. Eight morphologists in the four centers tested the criteria for interobserver agreement by examining a set of coded slides that had been chosen to include some especially difficult interpretative problems in all five histologic classifications. Interobserver agreement of 85 and 87% was achieved in successive reviews when the combined group of high-grade dysplasia and intramucosal carcinoma was compared with the combined group of low-grade dysplasia, indefinite for dysplasia, and negative for dysplasia. Comparison of other groups yielded less agreement. For example, negative for dysplasia could be distinguished from all other diagnoses with an interobserver agreement of 72%. We conclude that experienced gastrointestinal morphologists can diagnose high-grade dysplasia and intramucosal carcinoma with a high degree of agreement and thus can detect those patients who may need immediate rebiopsy or esophageal resection. Either further refinement of histologic criteria or alternate diagnostic methods will be needed to achieve the reproducible diagnosis of indefinite changes and low-grade dysplasia. This is important because patients with such changes theoretically merit closer endoscopic surveillance.
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              Low-grade dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus: overdiagnosed and underestimated.

              Published data on the natural history of low-grade dysplasia (LGD) in Barrett's esophagus (BE) are inconsistent and difficult to interpret. We investigated the natural history of LGD in a large community-based cohort of BE patients after reviewing the original histological diagnosis by an expert panel of pathologists. Histopathology reports of all patients diagnosed with LGD between 2000 and 2006 in six non-university hospitals were reviewed by two expert pathologists. This panel diagnosis was subsequently compared with the histological outcome during prospective endoscopic follow-up. A diagnosis of LGD was made in 147 patients. After pathology review, 85% of the patients were downstaged to non-dysplastic BE (NDBE) or to indefinite for dysplasia. In only 15% of the patients was the initial diagnosis LGD. Endoscopic follow-up was carried out in 83.6% of patients, with a mean follow-up of 51.1 months. For patients with a consensus diagnosis of LGD, the cumulative risk of progressing to high-grade dysplasia or carcinoma (HGD or Ca) was 85.0% in 109.1 months compared with 4.6% in 107.4 months for patients downstaged to NDBE (P<0.0001). The incidence rate of HGD or Ca was 13.4% per patient per year for patients in whom the diagnosis of LGD was confirmed. For patients downstaged to NDBE, the corresponding incidence rate was 0.49%. LGD in BE is an overdiagnosed and yet underestimated entity in general practice. Patients diagnosed with LGD should undergo an expert pathology review to purify this group. In case the diagnosis of LGD is confirmed, patients should undergo strict endoscopic follow-up or should be considered for endoscopic ablation therapy.
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                Author and book information

                Book
                978-3-319-41386-0
                978-3-319-41388-4
                2016
                10.1007/978-3-319-41388-4
                Book Chapter
                2016
                August 30 2016
                : 137-159
                10.1007/978-3-319-41388-4_8

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