Evaluation of Opportunities to Improve Hematopathology Diagnosis for Vietnam Pathologists.

Publication Date: 
Nov 15, 2017

Objectives: We evaluate the need for, feasibility of, and impediments to improving hematopathology diagnoses for cancer hospitals in Vietnam.

Methods: Two hematopathologists from the United States visited three major cancer treatment hospitals in Vietnam to workshop a sampling of difficult hematopathology cases. With Vietnamese pathologists, they toured histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and ancillary laboratory facilities.

Results: Automated tissue processors and slide staining equipment were documented for each of the three hospitals. Between seven and 11 hematopathology cases were reviewed for each hospital. Exact/complete diagnostic concordance was 50% or less for all three laboratories. The major impediments to accurate specific diagnoses were limitations of immunohistochemical stains, limited stains available in house, and, for one of the hospitals, difficulty with interpretation of the immunohistochemistry.

Conclusions: Vietnamese pathologists would benefit from hematopathology training or opportunities to consult with hematopathologists in the United States. Expert hematopathology consultation services are currently unavailable within Vietnam, as postgraduate training for laboratory physicians consists of residency training in anatomic pathology only. Limitations in the quality of histopathology and immunohistochemistry could impose a barrier to success of efforts to improve hematopathology diagnosis. Implementation of a histopathology and immunohistochemistry quality improvement program might overcome this limitation.