Reproducibility Of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Histopathologic Subtyping
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare tumor with poor prognosis. Several studies have analyzed potential prognostic markers, but histologic type remains the single most important prognostic factor. Histologic subtypes of epithelioid MPM seem to have prognostic and therapeutic implications. Interobserver agreement in histologic pattern classification should be high.
To assess interobserver and intraobserver reproducibility in histologic differentiation between the main types of MPMs, and in further subtyping of epithelioid-type mesothelioma.
One representative hematoxylin-eosin–stained slide was selected from the archive for each of 200 patients with MPM. They were reviewed independently by 3 pathologists and classified according to the current World Health Organization classification of pleural tumors. After the first round of evaluations, a consensus meeting was organized where problems were addressed and representative images for each histologic category were selected. Two months later, cases were reevaluated by all 3 pathologists.
After the first round, overall interobserver agreement for histologic subtyping of mesothelioma was fair (κ, 0.36). The agreement was increased to substantial (κ, 0.63) in the second round. Improvement was found in interobserver agreement for all types of MPM and for most epithelioid subtypes.
Moderate to substantial agreement in histologic typing and subtyping of MPM can be achieved. However, training with additional clarification of diagnostic criteria, their strict application, and help from consensus-based illustrative images is needed.