Audit of Histopathology Reports for Breast Cancer in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital
AbstractBACKGROUND: The usefulness of histopathology reports is a function of the quality of information contained therein. Thus there is need to establish minimum criteria to be met in reporting cases as a quality control mechanism.
OBJECTIVE: To audit the quality of histopathology reports of mastectomy specimens received in the pathology laboratory of a Teaching Hospital.
METHODS: Laboratory numbers of all cancer bearing mastectomy cases received in 10 years (1999–2008) were extracted from pathology reception registers and their accompanying original request cards were retrieved from
archives. From these cards relevant information meeting six set audit criteria and average turn around times were determined and analysed.
RESULTS: One hundred and sixty-five mastectomy cases were received but archival retrieval was possible for only 134 (81.2%) cases. The reports documented tumour size, macroscopic resection margin, histological tumour type, histological grading, lymphatic/vascular invasion
characterized by invasion of tumour cells into lymphatic vessels, arteries or more importantly veins, and microscopic resection margin. These were documented in 50%, 62%, 92%, 40%, 12% and 64% of cases respectively. Average turn around time was 15.8 days. Only three (2.2%) of the
reports met all the six criteria.
CONCLUSION: This 10-year audit shows the lapses in our histopathology reports and the need for establishment of standard report formats as tools for quality assurance.