An audit of the diagnosis and reporting of soft tissue sarcomas at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital
Background: The effective management of patients with cancer is predicated on the right diagnoses and other relevant parameters included in the pathology report. This is particularly important in soft tissue pathology where arriving at the right diagnosis is often challenging. The aim of this study, therefore, was to perform an audit of sarcoma diagnosis and reporting in our institution.
Methods: Slides of soft tissue sarcomas diagnosed in our institution over a 5‑year period were reviewed with specialist soft tissue pathologists. Ancillary immunohistochemistry and fluorescent in situ hybridization were performed where necessary. The contents of the reports were assessed using a diagnostic checklist developed by the Association of Directors of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology.
Results: Fifty‑five of the 62 patients studied (88.7%) were correctly identified as sarcomas. However, the correct diagnoses were made in only 27 patients (43.6%). Kaposi sarcoma and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans were the most recognized sarcomas, while leiomyosarcoma, myxofibrosarcoma, and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor were the least recognized sarcomas. The most reported parameters included the histologic type (100%) and size (89.7%), while the percentage of necrosis (0%) and the stage (0%) were the least reported parameters.
Conclusion: A pattern based approach is important for the accurate diagnosis of soft tissue sarcomas. Some essential prognostic parameters and information needed for management were not included in the histopathology reports. The adoption of a structured reporting format and multidisciplinary team meetings will help to ensure the inclusion of such important information in the pathology report.
Keywords: Audit, LUTH, soft tissue sarcomas