Most-Read Pathology Articles in 2011

Nancy R. Terry


December 08, 2011

In This Article

Counting Down: Most-read Articles 10 to 2

What did pathologists and laboratory medicine specialists read on Medscape in 2011?

Like virtually all healthcare professionals, readers were interested in healthcare legislation and how it would affect their practices. Yet, most top stories reflect a focus on clinical issues, such as changes in guidelines, challenges posed by equivocal findings, and breakthroughs in pathology and laboratory medicine.

The top 10 articles most read by pathologists and laboratory specialists are provided below. If you missed these important articles, please take a minute to review them and see what your colleagues are reading.

10. Significance of Repeatedly Nondiagnostic Thyroid Fine Needle Aspirations

Nondiagnostic thyroid fine-needle aspirations are associated with a risk of malignancy that can be reduced with repeated aspiration. However, the significance of repeated nondiagnostic aspirates is less well studied. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology assessed the risk of malignancy for repeated nondiagnostic aspirates from a large series of cases using the results of histologic follow-up.

Read the complete article.

9. Federal Judge Strikes Down Entire Healthcare Reform Law

In January, a federal judge in Florida today struck down the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) because it requires individuals to buy health insurance or else pay a penalty, a provision the judge ruled both unconstitutional and inseparable from the rest of the law.

The decision, as reported by Medscape, increased the likelihood that the Supreme Court would be the final arbiter in a plethora of legal challenges to the healthcare reform law. [Editor: Recently, the Supreme Court agreed to rule on the case. ]

Read the complete article from Medscape Medical News.

8. Interpreting Microbiology Results in Unexpected Infant Death

Postmortem microbiologic investigations are recommended in cases of sudden unexpected death in infancy, and infection is a recognized cause of such deaths, but no current evidence-based guidelines exist for the appropriate interpretation of results. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, investigators assessed the interpretive difficulties of microbiologic results using a targeted cross-specialty questionnaire.

Read the complete article.

7. Diagnostic Performance of the PCA3 Urine Test

The potential of the prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) urine assay to aid prostate cancer diagnosis and minimize unnecessary biopsies has been extensively studied. In a study published in Nature Reviews Urology, investigators reviewed the results from 3 recent studies comparing the performance of PCA3 with prostate-specific antigen. The results underscored both the benefits and challenges offered by this new diagnostic biomarker.

Read the complete article.

6. Considerations of So-Called Near-Virtual Autopsies

Although postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) is sometimes championed as adequate to replace the invasive postmortem evaluation, many questions remain. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology assessed whether PMCT can provide the same level of information as provided by an invasive postmortem, and can it meet the needs of the end users of the postmortem report. Through a comparative analysis of invasive postmortem and CT findings and a questionnaire based qualitative thematic analysis, the investigators sought to answer these questions.

Read the complete article.

5. I'm Struggling to Live on $160,000 a Year: MD Lament

Most people who don't have "MD" or "DO" after their name would assume that $160,000 is a darn good annual income.

That's what a typical primary care doctor -- family physician or internist -- earns after expenses but before taxes, according to the Medscape Physician Compensation Survey 2011. Yet it's often not enough in a world where rising costs collide with stagnant reimbursements.

Read the complete article from Medscape Business of Medicine.

4. Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia

Interobserver reproducibility in the diagnosis of benign intraductal proliferative lesions has been poor. The aims of a study published in Modern Pathology were to investigate the inter- and intraobserver variability and the impact of the addition of an immunostain for high- and low-molecular-weight keratins on the variability.

Read the complete article.

3. FDA Approves Test to Determine HER2 Status in Breast Cancer

In June, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the Inform Dual ISH, a genetic test that can help determine if breast cancer patients are HER2-positive and, therefore, candidates for treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin).The test is designed to quantitatively detect amplification, by light microscopy, of the HER2 gene using 2-color chromogenic in situ hybridization (ISH) in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded human breast and gastric cancer.

Read the complete Medscape Medical News alert.

2. Pathology Consultation on Reporting of Critical Values

Among the most important functions of a pathology or laboratory medicine service is the clear, accurate, and rapid communication of critical test results to patient care providers. Pathologists and laboratory professionals are often confronted with many obstacles in the reporting of such critical values. An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology presented a hypothetical (yet fairly common) clinical case scenario regarding critical values and then provided an up-to-date discussion and review of the literature on the reporting of critical results.

Read the complete article.


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