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Same Specimen, Different Diagnoses: Suprahistologic Elements in Observer Variability

Genta, Robert M. MD, FACG*,†,‡

Advances in Anatomic Pathology: May 2014 - Volume 21 - Issue 3 - p 188–190
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0000000000000023

External influences, referred to as suprahistologic elements, may modulate pathologists’ interpretation of morphologic findings. These elements can be divided into those that are loosely evidence based and exert a desirable influence on the diagnosis and those that arise from emotional, sometimes irrational perceptions not rooted in objective evidence. The latter, together with individual experience and competence, may lie at the core of the notorious interobserver and intraobserver variability.

*Miraca Research Institute, Miraca Life Sciences, Irving

Departments of Pathology and Medicine, Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX

The author has no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Reprints: Robert M. Genta, MD, FACG, Miraca Research Institute, Miraca Life Sciences, 6655 North MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75039 (e-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.