Molecular testing has become part of the routine diagnostic workup of brain tumors after the implementation of integrated histomolecular diagnoses in the 2016 WHO classification update. It is important for every neuropathologist to be aware of practical preanalytical, analytical, and postanalytical factors that impact the performance and interpretation of molecular tests. Prior to testing, optimizing tumor purity and tumor amount increases the ability of the molecular test to detect the genetic alteration of interest. Recognizing basic molecular testing platform analytical characteristics allows selection of the optimal platform for each clinicopathological scenario. Finally, postanalytical considerations to properly interpret molecular test results include understanding the clinical significance of the detected genetic alteration, recognizing that detected clinically significant genetic alterations are occasionally germline constitutional rather than somatic tumor-specific, and being cognizant that recommended and commonly used genetic nomenclature may differ. Potential pitfalls in brain tumor molecular diagnosis are also discussed.
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