Evaluation of information presented within soft tissue sarcoma histopathology reports in the United States: 2012-2015

A. M. Livaccari, L. E. Selmic, J. K. Reagan, E. A. Driskell, M. T. Cray, L. M. Lamoureux, L. D. Garrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the existence of the American College of Veterinary Pathology guidelines for tumour biopsy specimens, anecdotally the authors' have seen inconsistency of reporting of information on the pathology report for canine soft tissue sarcomas (STSs). If crucial aspects are not reported this can result in slower or impeded patient care. This retrospective study evaluated 255 STS histopathology reports submitted from across the United States. Reports were evaluated by a single observer to assess for information contained in 5 main categories: patient history and signalment, gross and microscopic description, grading, histologic margins and the comments section. Inclusion criteria for histopathology reports included a final diagnosis of STS, having a microscopic description and resulting from the initial surgical resection. The majority of the reports stated the patient signalment (91.2%) and clinical history (90.8%). However, only 64.8% of the reports had a gross description of the specimen. Histologic margin description was present in 229 reports (91.6%), however, only 149 reports (59.6%) stated an objective measurement of these margins. Histologic classification was stated in 50.0% of the reports, while grade was given on 97.2% of the reports. Variability in histopathologic reporting including histologic margin description for resected canine STS was identified. Given surgical treatment is the mainstay for STS and histopathological assessment plays an important role in determination of whether additional surgery, radiation or chemotherapy is needed. Standardization or checklists like the American College of Pathology utilize may be helpful to ensure histopathologic characteristics are reported that may guide further treatment recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-430
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary and comparative oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • oncology
  • pathology
  • small animal
  • surgical oncology
  • tumour biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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