Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Gross examination


Aims: To demonstrate the feasibility of the Leaflex™ Catheter System, a novel percutaneous device for fracturing valve calcification using mechanical impact in order to regain leaflet mobility. Methods and results: Radiographic analysis of calcium patterns in 90 ex vivo human aortic valve leaflets demonstrated that 82% of leaflets had a typical “bridge” or “half-bridge” pattern, which formed the basis for the catheter design. The therapeutic effect was quantified in 13 leaflets showing a reduction of 49±16% in leaflet resistance to folding after treatment. A pulsatile flow simulator was then used with 11 ex vivo valves demonstrating an increase in aortic valve area of 35±12%. Using gross pathology and histology on fresh calcified leaflets, we then verified that mechanical impacts do not entail excessive risk of embolisation. In vivo safety and usability were then confirmed in the ovine model. Conclusions: We demonstrated preclinically that it is feasible to improve valve function using the Leaflex™ technology. Once demonstrated clinically, such an approach may have an important role as preparation for or bridging to TAVI, as destination treatment for patients where TAVI is clinically or economically questionable and, in the future, maybe even as a means to slow disease progression in asymptomatic patients.

Concepts: In vivo, Demonstration, Aortic valve, Valvular heart disease, Calcification, Aortic valve stenosis, Leaflet, Gross examination


Changes in the field of pathology and resident education necessitate ongoing evaluation of residency training. Evolutionary change is particularly important for surgical pathology rotations, which form the core of anatomic pathology training programs. In the past, we organized this rotation based on subjective insight. When faced with the recent need to restructure the rotation, we strove for a more evidence-based process. Our approach involved 2 primary sources of data. We quantified the number of cases and blocks submitted per case type to estimate workload and surveyed residents about the time required to gross specimens in all organ systems. A multidisciplinary committee including faculty, residents, and staff evaluated the results and used the data to model how various changes to the rotation would affect resident workload, turnaround time, and other variables. Finally, we identified rotation structures that equally distributed work and created a point-based system that capped grossing time for residents of different experience. Following implementation, we retrospectively compared turnaround time and duty hour violations before and after these changes and surveyed residents about their experiences with both systems. We evaluated the accuracy of the point-based system by examining grossing times and comparing them to the assigned point values. We found overall improvement in the rotation following the implementation. As there is essentially no literature on the subject of surgical pathology rotation organization, we hope that our experience will provide a road map to improve pathology resident education at other institutions.

Concepts: Time, Medicine, Biology, Pathology, Anatomical pathology, Physician, Medical school, Gross examination


Mortality of seabirds due to anthropogenic causes, especially entrapment in fishing gear, is a matter of increasing international concern. This study aimed at characterising the gross pathology of seabirds that drowned in fishing nets and comparing it with that in other common causes of mortality.

Concepts: Fishing, Drowning, Gross examination, Fishing net


-Medication resins, including Kayexalate, sevelamer, and bile acid sequestrants, can be encountered in gastrointestinal tract specimens. Their classic histologic appearances have been well documented, but pathologist recognition of the resins is 75%, patient history is not always available, and atypical morphologic findings are sometimes present.

Concepts: Cancer, Biology, Hospital, Anatomical pathology, Bile, Bile acid sequestrant, Gross examination


The practice of anatomic pathology, and of gastrointestinal pathology in particular, has been dramatically transformed in the past decade. In addition to the multitude of diseases, syndromes, and clinical entities encountered in daily clinical practice, the increasing integration of new technologic and molecular advances into the field of gastroenterology is occurring at a fast pace. Application of these advances has challenged pathologists to correlate newer methodologies with existing morphologic criteria, which in many instances still provide the gold standard for diagnosis. This review describes the impact of new technologic and molecular advances on the daily practice of gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary pathology. We discuss new drugs that can affect the gastrointestinal tract and liver, new endoluminal techniques, new molecular tests that are often performed reflexively, new imaging techniques for evaluating hepatocellular carcinoma, and modified approaches to the gross and histologic assessment of tissues that have been exposed to neoadjuvant therapies.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Pathology, Anatomical pathology, Histology, Gastroenterology, Forensic pathology, Gross examination


Intradepartmental consultations (ICs) are important for quality assurance (QA) and ensuring diagnostic accuracy in surgical pathology. Few studies have reviewed pathologist factors that influence IC rates. Our study reviews IC data and factors that influence both formal (written) and informal (verbal) consultation practices among pathologists in academic and community hospital settings. Formal IC records from the academic hospital were collected and academic and community pathologists were invited to complete a survey about their IC practices. All centers had a formalized process for documenting ICs; however, 92% of academic and 90% of community pathologists also requested informal IC. The top reasons for selecting a particular colleague for IC was perceived level of expertise; however, interpersonal relationships and office proximity had a greater impact on informal IC practice. Top reasons for requesting a formal IC were mandatory (subspecialty defined) consultation and uncertainty regarding pathological findings. Advice on wording was a common reason for informal IC. Written documentation of IC aids in QA and determination of IC metrics; however, informal, undocumented ICs still occur. Reasons for IC and choice of consulting pathologist are multifactorial, and identifying these can help target quality improvement initiatives.

Concepts: Cancer, Pathology, Hospital, Anatomical pathology, Islamic Golden Age, Quality assurance, Forensic pathology, Gross examination


To determine the physiologic response to resorbable carboxymethyl cellulose/chitosan (CMC/CN) microspheres in a long-term rabbit model, including the clinical response, gross pathology, and histopathology.

Concepts: Biology, Pathology, Anatomical pathology, Gross examination


Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and microwave ablation (MWA) are currently the dominant modalities to treat unresectable liver tumors. Monitoring the ablation process with b-mode-sonography is often hampered by artefacts. Furthermore, vessels may cause cooling in the adjacent tumor target (heat-sink-effect) with risk of local recurrence. The present study evaluated infrared-thermography to monitor surgical RFA/MWA and detect heat-sink-effects in real-time. RFA and MWA of perfused porcine livers was conducted at peripheral and central-vessel-adjacent locations, and monitored by real-time thermography. Ablation was measured and evaluated by gross pathology. The mean time for ablation was significantly longer in RFA compared with MWA (8 vs. 2 min). Although mean macroscopic ablation diameter was similar (RFA, 3.17 cm; MWA, 3.38 cm), RFA showed a significant heat-sink-effect compared with MWA. The surface temperature during central RFA near vessels was 1/3 lower compared with peripheral RFA (47.11±8.35°C vs. 68.72±12.70°C; P<0.001). There was no significant difference in MWA (50.52±8.35°C vs. 50.18±10.35°C; P=0.74). In conclusion, thermography is suitable to monitor the correct ablation with MWA and RFA. The results of the current study demonstrated a significant heat-sink-effect for RFA, but not MWA near vessels. MWA reaches consistent surface temperatures much faster than RFA. With furtherin vivovalidation, thermography may be useful to ensure appropriate ablation particularly near vulnerable or vascular structures.

Concepts: Cancer, Temperature, Thermodynamics, Entropy, Black body, Thermography, Thermal radiation, Gross examination


Primary extratesticular seminomas exceptionally occur in the epididymis or in the paratesticular region/spermatic cord. Some old papers included poor histological description or insufficient photographic documentation, reducing the number of faithful cases: an up-to-date systematic review is lacking. We report the 4th primary seminoma of the paratesticular region/spermatic cord in a 35-year-old man, including the first echographic description. We provide review of the literature and etiopathogenetic discussion. Ultrasound examination showed a right paratesticular, solid, heterogeneous mass (iso-hypoechoic with hyperechoic striae; peri- and intra-lesional vascular signals) with no testicular involvement: the paratesticular origin was confirmed by pathological examination. Despite careful gross examination and extensive sampling, the 6.5-cm extratesticular tumor revealed only one microscopic focus with minimal invasion (<2 mm) of the atrophic testicular parenchyma. Intratubular germ cell neoplasia or morphologic features of a regressed testicular tumor (fibrosis/scar, necrosis, hyalinization, calcification, inflammation) were not found. Primary seminomas of the paratesticular region/spermatic cord occurred at an older mean age and presented as bigger lesions if compared to the 9 primary epididymal seminomas reported in literature. Clinical-pathological correlation and accurate sampling are mandatory for a correct diagnosis.

Concepts: Cancer, Pathology, Anatomical pathology, Testicular cancer, Germ cell tumor, Epididymis, Gross examination, Intratubular germ cell neoplasia


Management of complex acute surgical pathology in austere environments necessitates rapid evaluation and resource appropriate management to avoid time-associated morbidity and potentially mortality. Obstructive upper gastrointestinal (UGI) pathologies can be particularly challenging and associated with significant morbidity. Herein, we present six patients with UGI obstructions encountered over the course of an 8-mo deployment onboard a US Navy Aircraft Carrier. Each patient presented to our medical department with signs and symptoms of obstructive UGI pathology including one gastric volvulus requiring operative management at sea, one with a new diagnosis of achalasia requiring transportation and continental United States outpatient evaluation, and four patients with food impaction requiring urgent endoscopic management. Although UGI pathology is seldom encountered at sea, definitive surgical interventions, including prompt evaluation and management of these acute pathologies, can be performed in an austere environment. We wish to call attention to these potential encounters in order that underway deployed medical units and supporting resources ashore are prepared and equipped to intervene on acute UGI obstructive pathology.

Concepts: Cancer, Hospital, Anatomical pathology, Medical diagnosis, Gastroenterology, Medical school, Gross examination, Aircraft carrier