Publication Abstract

Authors: Lott JP, Elmore JG, Zhao GA, Knezevich SR, Frederick PD, Reisch LM, Chu EY, Cook MG, Duncan LM, Elenitsas R, Gerami P, Landman G, Lowe L, Messina JL, Mihm MC, van den Oord JJ, Rabkin MS, Schmidt B, Shea CR, Yun SJ, Xu GX, Piepkorn MW, Elder DE, Barnhill RL, International Melanoma Pathology Study Group

Title: Evaluation of the Melanocytic Pathology Assessment Tool and Hierarchy for Diagnosis (MPATH-Dx) classification scheme for diagnosis of cutaneous melanocytic neoplasms: Results from the International Melanoma Pathology Study Group.

Journal: J Am Acad Dermatol 75(2):356-63

Date: 2016 Aug

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Pathologists use diverse terminology when interpreting melanocytic neoplasms, potentially compromising quality of care. OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the Melanocytic Pathology Assessment Tool and Hierarchy for Diagnosis (MPATH-Dx) scheme, a 5-category classification system for melanocytic lesions. METHODS: Participants (n = 16) of the 2013 International Melanoma Pathology Study Group Workshop provided independent case-level diagnoses and treatment suggestions for 48 melanocytic lesions. Individual diagnoses (including, when necessary, least and most severe diagnoses) were mapped to corresponding MPATH-Dx classes. Interrater agreement and correlation between MPATH-Dx categorization and treatment suggestions were evaluated. RESULTS: Most participants were board-certified dermatopathologists (n = 15), age 50 years or older (n = 12), male (n = 9), based in the United States (n = 11), and primary academic faculty (n = 14). Overall, participants generated 634 case-level diagnoses with treatment suggestions. Mean weighted kappa coefficients for diagnostic agreement after MPATH-Dx mapping (assuming least and most severe diagnoses, when necessary) were 0.70 (95% confidence interval 0.68-0.71) and 0.72 (95% confidence interval 0.71-0.73), respectively, whereas correlation between MPATH-Dx categorization and treatment suggestions was 0.91. LIMITATIONS: This was a small sample size of experienced pathologists in a testing situation. CONCLUSION: Varying diagnostic nomenclature can be classified into a concise hierarchy using the MPATH-Dx scheme. Further research is needed to determine whether this classification system can facilitate diagnostic concordance in general pathology practice and improve patient care.