Aims: Distinguishing premalignant sessile serrated lesions (SSLs) from hyperplastic polyps (HPs) is difficult for pathologists in daily practice. We aimed to evaluate nationwide variability within histopathology laboratories in the frequency of diagnosing an SSL as compared with an HP within the Dutch population-based screening programme for colorectal cancer and to assess the effect of an e-learning module on interlaboratory consistency.
Methods and results: Data were retrieved from the Dutch Pathology Registry from the start of the nationwide population screening programme, January 2014, until December 2015. An obligatory e-learning module was implemented among pathologists in October 2014. The ratio between SSL and HP diagnosis was determined per laboratory. Odds ratios (ORs) for the diagnosis of an SSL per laboratory were compared with the laboratory with the median odds (median laboratory), before and after implementation of the e-learning module. In total, 14 997 individuals with 27 879 serrated polyps were included; 6665 (23.9%) were diagnosed as SSLs, and 21 214 as HPs (76.1%). The ratio of diagnosing an SSL ranged from 5% to 47% (median 23%) within 44 laboratories. Half of the laboratories showed a significantly different OR (range 3.47-0.16) for diagnosing an SSL than the median laboratory. Variability decreased after implementation of the e-learning module (P = 0.02). Of all pathology laboratories, 70% became more consistent with the median laboratory after e-learning implementation.
Conclusions: We demonstrated substantial interlaboratory variability in the histopathological diagnosis of SSLs, which significantly decreased after implementation of a structured e-learning module. Widespread implementation of education might contribute to more homogeneous practice among pathologists.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Cancer prevention, Colorectal cancer screening, Colorectal neoplasm, Histopathology
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/his.13155, hdl.handle.net/1765/97852
Journal Histopathology
Citation
Ijspeert, J.E.G, Madani, A, Overbeek, L.I.H, Dekker, E, & Nagtegaal, I.D. (2017). Implementation of an e-learning module improves consistency in the histopathological diagnosis of sessile serrated lesions within a nationwide population screening programme. Histopathology, 70(6), 929–937. doi:10.1111/his.13155