A study was carried out to test the accuracy and consistency of veterinary pathologists, not specialists in hematopathology, in applying the World Health Organization (WHO) system of classification of canine lymphomas. This study represents an initiative of the ACVP Oncology Committee, and the classification has been endorsed by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WASVA). Tissue biopsies from cases of canine lymphoma were received from veterinary oncologists, and a study by pathologists given only signalment was carried out on 300 cases. Twenty pathologists reviewed these 300 cases with each required to choose a diagnosis from a list of 43 B and T cell lymphomas. Three of the 20 were hematopathologists who determined the consensus diagnosis for each case. The 17 who formed the test group were experienced but not specialists in hematopathology, and most were diplomates of the American or European Colleges of Veterinary Pathology. The overall accuracy of the 17 pathologists on the 300 cases was 83%. When the analysis was limited to the 6 most common diagnoses, containing 80% of all cases, accuracy rose to 87%. In a test of reproducibility enabled by reintroducing 5% of cases entered under a different identity, the overall agreement between the first and second diagnosis ranged from 40 to 87%. The statistical review included 43,000 data points for each of the 20 pathologists.
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