DOI: 10.1111/vco.12932 ISSN:

Standardization of canine meningioma grading: Validation of new guidelines for reproducible histopathologic criteria

Sara Belluco, Giuseppe Marano, Thibaut Lurier, Giancarlo Avallone, Chiara Brachelente, Stefano Di Palma, Roberta Rasotto, Kerstin Baiker, Andreas Beineke, Anna Oevermann, Frauke Seehusen, Fabiano José Ferreira de Sant'Ana, Patrizia Boracchi, Martí Pumarola, Maria Teresa Mandara
  • General Veterinary


Canine meningiomas are currently graded using the human grading system. Recently published guidelines have adapted the human grading system for use in dogs. The goal of this study was to validate the new guidelines for canine meningiomas. To evaluate the inter‐observer agreement, 5 veterinary surgical pathologists graded 158 canine meningiomas following the human grading system alone or with the new guidelines. The inter‐observer agreement for histologic grade and each of the grading criteria (mitotic grade, invasion, spontaneous necrosis, macronucleoli, small cells, hypercellularity, pattern loss and anaplasia) was evaluated using the Fleiss kappa index. The diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity and specificity) was assessed by comparing the diagnoses obtained with the 2 grading systems with a consensus grade (considered the reference classification). The consensus histologic grade was obtained by agreement between 4 experienced veterinary neuropathologists following the guidelines. Compared with the human grading alone, the canine‐specific guidelines increased the inter‐observer agreement for: histologic grade (κ = 0.52); invasion (κ = 0.67); necrosis (κ = 0.62); small cells (κ = 0.36); pattern loss (κ = 0.49) and anaplasia (κ = 0.55). Mitotic grade agreement remained substantial (κ = 0.63). The guidelines improved the sensitivity in identifying grade 1 (95.6%) and the specificity in identifying grade 2 (96.2%) meningiomas. In conclusion, the new grading guidelines for canine meningiomas are associated with an overall improvement in the inter‐observer agreement and higher diagnostic accuracy in diagnosing grade 1 and grade 2 meningiomas.

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