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August 2014

Cytopathology and More | ATHENA design, data—and the FDA’s decision

August 2014—The Food and Drug Administration Microbiology Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee held a hearing March 12 on a proposal by Roche Molecular Systems for a new application of human papillomavirus first-line primary cervical cancer screening for women age 25 and older. The 13-member panel unanimously approved the test as safe and effective with benefits to women’s health. The FDA formally approved the additional testing indication on April 24.

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Q & A Column, 8/14

August 2014—Is there a trough and crest occurrence with blood testosterone levels, or is it like thyroid testing, where one’s result is the total of the previous several days? What is the relationship between the presence of moderate to many spherocytes and the MCHC parameter? We always thought cases that show spherocytes on the blood smear are usually associated with high MCHC. We had a case of autoimmune hemolytic anemia with moderate spherocytes, but the MCHC was normal.

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Newsbytes, 8/14

August 2014—Smartphone use in AP ‘immature’ but advancing: It may never be as famous as Snapchat or Instagram, but another method of photo sharing is gaining favor with some anatomic pathologists by allowing them to use their smartphones to send images from glass slides quickly and inexpensively. “The use of smartphones is still at an immature stage for pathology, but I think the emerging area is utilizing the camera functions in the phones to manage decisionmaking,” says Douglas J. Hartman, MD, assistant professor, Department of Anatomic Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

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Anatomic Pathology Selected Abstracts, 8/14

August 2014—GATA3: a multispecific but potentially useful marker in surgical pathology: The transcription factor GATA3 is important for differentiating breast epithelia, urothelia, and subsets of T lymphocytes. It has been suggested that it may be useful in evaluating carcinomas of mammary or urothelial origin or metastatic carcinomas, but its distribution in normal and neoplastic tissues is incompletely mapped. The authors conducted a study in which they examined normal developing and adult tissues and 2,040 epithelial and 460 mesenchymal or neuroectodermal neoplasms for GATA3 expression to explore its diagnostic value in surgical pathology.

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Clinical Pathology Selected Abstracts, 8/14

August 2014—Anti-D alloimmunization after D-incompatible platelet transfusions: Because a small but immunogenic dose of red blood cells may be contained in apheresis platelets, transfusion services establish protocols to provide D– recipients with D– platelets to prevent anti-D alloimmunization. This is of particular concern for young females as there is potential for hemolytic disease of the newborn. In cases where D+ platelets are given to D– recipients, Rh immune globulin (RhIG) may be used to help prevent sensitization. The authors retrospectively analyzed during a 14-year period the anti-D formation in D– recipients who received D+ platelets without the use of RhIG.

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Cytopathology and More | Of confusion, cost, and communication

August 2014—In the days after my “Perspective” piece on the thousand-dollar Pap smear was published,1 I was profoundly moved by the number of physicians from diverse specialties and practice settings who reached out to tell me how important they believe issues of cost and cost transparency are to our ability to practice in the best interest of our patients. Barbara Crothers, DO, of the CAP Cytopathology Committee, was among those who reached out. I learned from Dr. Crothers and her colleagues that pathologists share the sense of frustration and loss of control that I often have as a primary care provider confronted by opaque ordering systems and skyrocketing costs for a simple, potentially life-saving test.

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