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Vanitha Janakiraman Mohta, MD; February 2012
A pregnant woman with new onset hypertension and proteinuria was admitted to the hospital for further testing. Test results for a 24-hour urine collection were initially reported as normal in the electronic medical record, and discharge planning was begun. However, a later amended report showed the results were elevated and abnormal, confirming a diagnosis of preeclampsia.
Journal Article > Study
Raab SS, Grzybicki DM, Zarbo RJ, et al. Am J Clin Pathol. 2007;128:817-824.
This AHRQ-funded study of cervical cancer screening results found a remarkably low incidence of missed malignancies. The authors analyzed Papanicolaou test results and the results of subsequent biopsies and found that the results were discordant in only 0.3% of cases, with most of these inconsistencies being clinically insignificant. Delayed diagnosis of cancer is a common cause of malpractice suits in ambulatory care. Although a prior study by Raab and colleagues found a higher overall error rate in anatomic pathology cancer diagnosis, this study documents that the US cervical cancer screening system appears to be very effective at preventing squamous cervical cancer. However, a systematic review of missed or delayed cancer diagnoses found that misdiagnosis of four common types of cancer—melanoma, as well as cancer of the breast, lung, or colon—remains common.