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1.
Global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cytopathology practice : results from an international survey of laboratories in 23 countries
Elena Vigliar, Rima Cepurnaite, Eduardo Alcaraz-Mateos, Syed Z. Ali, Zubair W. Baloch, Claudio Bellevicine, Massimo Bongiovanni, Pavlina Botsun, Dario Bruzzese, Lukas Bubendorf, Izidor Kern, 2020

Abstract: Background: To the authors' knowledge, the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on cytopathology practices worldwide has not been investigated formally. In the current study, data from 41 respondents from 23 countries were reported. Methods: Data regarding the activity of each cytopathology laboratory during 4 weeks of COVID-19 lockdown were collected and compared with those obtained during the corresponding period in 2019. The overall number and percentage of exfoliative and fine-needle aspiration cytology samples from each anatomic site were recorded. Differences in the malignancy and suspicious rates between the 2 periods were analyzed using a meta-analytical approach. Results: Overall, the sample volume was lower compared with 2019 (104,319 samples vs 190,225 samples), with an average volume reduction of 45.3% (range, 0.1%-98.0%). The percentage of samples from the cervicovaginal tract, thyroid, and anorectal region was significantly reduced (P < .05). Conversely, the percentage of samples from the urinary tract, serous cavities, breast, lymph nodes, respiratory tract, salivary glands, central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, liver, and biliary tract increased (P < .05). An overall increase of 5.56% (95% CI, 3.77%-7.35%) in the malignancy rate in nongynecological samples during the COVID-19 pandemic was observed. When the suspicious category was included, the overall increase was 6.95% (95% CI, 4.63%-9.27%). Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a drastic reduction in the total number of cytology specimens regardless of anatomic site or specimen type. The rate of malignancy increased, reflecting the prioritization of patients with cancer who were considered to be at high risk. Prospective monitoring of the effect of delays in access to health services during the lockdown period is warranted.
Keywords: pathology, neoplasms, COVID-19, coronavirus disease 2019, fine-needle aspiration, malignancy rate
DiRROS - Published: 09.11.2020; Views: 1019; Downloads: 376

2.
COVID-19 pandemic impact on cytopathology practice in the post-lockdown period : an international, multicenter study
Elena Vigliar, Pasquale Pisapia, Filippo Dello Iacovo, Izidor Kern, William C. Faquin, Martha Bishop Pitman, 2022

Abstract: Background. In a previous worldwide survey, the authors showed a drastic reduction in the number of cytological specimens processed during the coronavirus disease 2019 “lockdown” period along with an increase in malignancy rates. To assess the continued impact of the pandemic on cytological practices around the world, they undertook a second follow-up worldwide survey collecting data from the post-lockdown period (2020). Methods. Participants were asked to provide data regarding their cytopathology activity during the first 12 weeks of their respective national post-lockdown period (2020), which ranged from April 4 to October 31. Differences between the post-lockdown period and the corresponding 2019 period were evaluated, and the authors specifically focused on rates of malignant diagnoses. Results. A total of 29 respondents from 17 countries worldwide joined the survey. Overall, a lower number of cytological specimens (n = 236,352) were processed in comparison with the same period in 2019 (n = 321,466) for a relative reduction of 26.5%. The overall malignancy rate showed a statistically significant increase (12,442 [5.26%] vs 12,882 [4.01%]; P < .001) during the same time period. Similar results were obtained if both malignancy and suspicious for malignancy rates were considered together (15,759 [6.58%] vs 16,011 [4.98%]; P < .001). Conclusions. The data showed a persistent reduction in the cytological specimen volume during the post-lockdown period (2020). However, the relative increase in the cytological workload in the late part of the post-lockdown is a promising finding of a slow return to normality.
Keywords: covid-19, neoplasms, early detection of cancer, lung -- pathology -- cytology, diagnostic screening programs, fine-needle biopsy, cytopathology, fine-needle aspiration, malignancy rate
DiRROS - Published: 07.02.2022; Views: 173; Downloads: 38

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