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Second Opinions for Melanocytic Lesions Examined

Dermatol Surg; ePub 2017 Aug 29; Geller, et al

The use of second opinions in clinical practice is greater than that required by laboratory policies, especially for melanocytic tumors of uncertain malignant potential and atypical Spitzoid lesions, a recent study found. Cross-sectional data were collected from 207 pathologists in 10 US states who diagnose melanocytic lesions. A web-based survey ascertained pathologists' professional information, laboratory second opinion policy, use of second opinions, and perceptions of second opinion value for melanocytic lesions. Researchers found:

  • Laboratory policies required second opinions for 31% of pathologists and most commonly required them for melanoma in situ (26%) and invasive melanoma (30%).
  • In practice, most pathologists reported requesting second opinions for melanocytic tumors of uncertain malignant potential (85%) and atypical Spitzoid lesions (88%).
  • Most pathologists perceived that second opinions increased interpretive accuracy (78%) and protected them from malpractice lawsuits (62%).

Citation:

Geller BM, Frederick PD, Knezevich SR. Pathologists' use of second opinions in interpretation of melanocytic cutaneous lesions: Policies, practices, and perceptions. [Published online ahead of print August 29, 2017]. Dermatol Surg. doi:10.1097/DSS.0000000000001256.

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