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Case Study Publishing Guide
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Case Study Publishing Guide

Patient History:

A short synopsis of clinical information about the patient.  Focus should be on creating a patient profile that justifies and informs the decision to have a surgical intervention or autopsy and is relevant to the ultimate diagnosis.

Points to Consider:

  • With what symptoms did the patient present?
  • What did any biopsies or previous surgeries reveal?
  • What are different avenues of treatment that could have been explored and why was this one specifically explored?

Materials and Methods/Hospital Course:

A summary of the pathological diagnosis procedure, with special attention paid to the role of the Pathologists’ Assistant.

Points to Consider:

  • What procedure was specifically done?
  • What were the relevant gross findings?
  • Were any special techniques used in grossing the specimen?
  • What sections were taken? 
  • What was the justification for these sections? 
  • CAP Protocol
  • Question specific to the case
  • Common convention


An outline of the microscopic and ancillary testing results, which connects the final diagnosis with the role of the PA in grossing the specimen. 

Points to Consider:

  • What did the microscopic results reveal?
  • Were additional gross sections called for and why? 
  • How did the gross description or sections affect the staging? 
  • Were any special stains ordered and what did they reveal?
  • Was any molecular testing done, what did it reveal, and why was it done?
  • What was the justification for any ancillary studies?  


A summary of the case with takeaway points with an analysis of the current scientific literature.  Ideally, a Pathologists’ Assistant reading the paper should come away with increased knowledge of a disease process, an applicable skill, or a better appreciation for the grossing technique or ancillary testing of similar cases.  This is also an appropriate place to discuss what further studies are warranted. 

Points to Consider:

  • What is written about this disease in the literature? 
  • How does the available literature on the topic relate to the gross approach to the specimen or case?
  • How does the available literature support that the case is publication worthy?  (Rare disease, atypical presentation, scarcity of studies) 
  • What are the take away points, specifically for Pathologists’ Assistants in their own practice?
  • Is there anything that in retrospect could have been done differently or better? 
  • As pathology practices vary widely, could this case have been approached in a different way?
  • Why was the chosen way of grossing ideal for the case?
  • Would alternate grossing methodologies be appropriate in different circumstances?
  • How could this be applied to future similar cases? 
  • Is there any call for additional research, especially within the gross or PA fields?

Sustaining Members

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