The value of central histopathological review of testicular tumours before treatment


Dr Lee Department of Histopathology, Nottingham City Hospital, Hucknall Road, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK.



To assess the value of central histopathological review of testicular tumours.

Materials and methods

The histopathology reports of the referring hospital and central review were compared for all referred testicular specimens (201 orchidectomies and seven testicular biopsies) from 11 hospitals in one region, between 1992 and 1997.


There were two main findings: First, there was a major discrepancy of tumour type in 12 specimens (6%). The most frequent change (in five cases) was from seminoma to nonseminomatous germ cell tumour (NSGCT). There were also difficulties with uncommon tumours such as spermatocytic seminoma, lymphoma and adenocarcinoma. Treatment was changed as result of the altered diagnosis in eight of these 12 patients. Second, there were discrepancies of interpretation of vascular invasion in 12 of 59 NSGCTs (20%). Differences of tumour elements recognized in NSGCTs were frequent.


The errors discovered on central histopathological review of testicular tumours were significant, though small in number. This supports the idea of central review and is consistent with the specialization recommended in the Calman–Hine cancer arrangements.