Validity of the hospital discharge diagnosis in epidemiologic studies of biliopancreatic pathology

M. Porta, S. Costafreda, N. Malats, L. Guarner, M. Soler, J. M. Gubern, E. García-Olivares, M. Andreu, A. Salas, J. M. Corominas, J. Alguacil, A. Carrato, J. Rifà, F. X. Real

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The aim was to analyse the magnitude, direction and predictors of change in the main hospital discharge diagnosis (HDD) after a clinical expert review, among patients included in a multicentre molecular epidemiologic study of biliopancreatic diseases. Methods: A total of 602 patients with a suspicion diagnosis of pancreas cancer (PC), cancer of the extrahepatic biliary system (CEBS) or benign biliopancreatic pathologies (BPP) were prospectively recruited at five general hospitals. A structured form was used to collect information from medical records. A panel of experts revised all diagnostic information and established the main clinico-pathological diagnosis (CPD) by consensus. Results: Of the 204 cases with a HDD of PC, 176 (86%) were deemed to have a CPD of PC, eight of CEBS, twelve a neoplasm of different origin, four BPP and four syndromic diagnoses. Thus, 28 cases (14%) were false positives. Of the 129 patients with a HDD of CEBS, 15 (12%) were false positives. Nine of the 396 cases with a HDD of non-PC (2%) had a CPD of PC (false negatives), whilst 14 of 471 patients with a HDD of non-CEBS (3%) were deemed to have CEBS. Overall, sensitivity and specificity of HDD for PC were, respectively, 95 and 93%, and for CEBS, 89 and 97%. Cytohistological confirmation and laparotomy were independent predictors of diagnostic change. Conclusions: Validity of the HDD was high, but its association with some clinical variables suggests that sole reliance on HDD can significantly bias results, and highlights the need to review all HDDs. Alternatively, only patients at high risk of misdiagnosis could be reviewed: primarily, those lacking a cytohistological diagnosis or a laparotomy. No exclusions appear warranted solely on the basis of age, gender or tumour spread.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-541
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2000


  • Biliary and pancreatic neoplasms - diagnosis
  • Epidemiology
  • Multicentre studies
  • Validity


Dive into the research topics of 'Validity of the hospital discharge diagnosis in epidemiologic studies of biliopancreatic pathology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this