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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

An algorithmic approach to the brain biopsy-part I.

Context.-The formulation of appropriate differential diagnoses for a slide is essential to the practice of surgical pathology but can be particularly challenging for residents and fellows. Algorithmic flow charts can help the less experienced pathologist to systematically consider all possible choices and eliminate incorrect diagnoses. They can assist pathologists-in-training in developing orderly, sequential, and logical thinking skills when confronting difficult cases. Objective.-To present an algorithmic flow chart as an approach to formulating differential diagnoses for lesions seen in surgical neuropathology. Design.-An algorithmic flow chart to be used in teaching residents. Results.-Algorithms are not intended to be final diagnostic answers on any given case. Algorithms do not substitute for training received from experienced mentors nor do they substitute for comprehensive reading by trainees of reference textbooks. Algorithmic flow diagrams can, however, direct the viewer to the correct spot in reference texts for further in-depth reading once they hone down their diagnostic choices to a smaller number of entities. The best feature of algorithms is that they remind the user to consider all possibilities on each case, even if they can be quickly eliminated from further consideration. Conclusions.-In Part I, we assist the resident in learning how to handle brain biopsies in general and how to distinguish nonneoplastic lesions that mimic tumors from true neoplasms.[1]


  1. An algorithmic approach to the brain biopsy-part I. Kleinschmidt-Demasters, B.K., Prayson, R.A. Arch. Pathol. Lab. Med. (2006) [Pubmed]
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