To provide an objective assessment of the comparative utility of fluorescence- and peroxidase-based immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy, an observer blinded study was conducted under realistic study conditions utilizing a large sampling of poorly differentiated pediatric round cell tumors. Working independently, using a single ancillary technique of particular expertise, each of three investigators attempted to render a specific diagnosis with regard to 50 diagnostically challenging tumors. The results were compared against the subsequent 'file diagnosis' established by consensus with all relevant information made available. A grading scheme was applied wherein points were awarded based on the accuracy and confidence of diagnosis. A comparative efficiency rating, expressed as a percentage, was formulated by dividing the number of points awarded each technique by the total number of points theoretically available. Electron microscopy proved superior overall, with an efficiency rating of 89%. Immunoperoxidase and immunofluorescence studies yielded efficiency ratings of 71 and 61%, respectively. Used in combination, the techniques achieved an efficiency rating of 95%. Application of these ancillary techniques resulted in a revision of the provisional diagnosis in 11 of 50 cases, and left only two cases without a firm specific diagnosis.
- Comparative study
- Electron microscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Structural Biology