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J R Soc Med. 1984 July; 77(7): 564–566.
PMCID: PMC1439949

Rectal biopsies: inaccuracy of histological grading in carcinoma of the rectum.


In a consecutive series of 70 patients with carcinoma of the rectum, 42 had operable tumours and in these the histology of the initial biopsy was compared with that of the excised specimen. In 9 of the 42 patients the histological grading of the original biopsy was different from that of the final specimen; in 3 the carcinoma was missed despite repeated preoperative biopsies; and in 5, errors were made in the diagnosis of carcinoma in polyps. In 5 of 7 cases of poorly differentiated carcinoma the initial biopsies indicated moderate differentiation: there was therefore a 70% inaccuracy in the preoperative diagnosis of poorly differentiated carcinoma of the rectum. The implications of this inaccuracy for the surgery of rectal cancer are discussed.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Elliot MS, Todd IP, Nicholls RJ. Radical restorative surgery for poorly differentiated carcinoma of the mid-rectum. Br J Surg. 1982 May;69(5):273–274. [PubMed]
  • GOLIGHER JC. Resection with restoration of continuity in the treatment of carcinoma of the rectum and rectosigmoid. Postgrad Med J. 1951 Nov;27(313):568–575. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • QUER EA, DAHLIN DC, MAYO CW. Retrograde intramural spread of carcinoma of the rectum and rectosigmoid; a microscopic study. Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1953 Jan;96(1):24–30. [PubMed]
  • Parks AG, Percy JP. Resection and sutured colo-anal anastomosis for rectal carcinoma. Br J Surg. 1982 Jun;69(6):301–304. [PubMed]

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