iPathology cockpit diagnostic station: validation according to College of American Pathologists Pathology and Laboratory Quality Center recommendation at the Hospital Trust and University of Verona.

Research paper by Matteo M Brunelli, Serena S Beccari, Romano R Colombari, Stefano S Gobbo, Luca L Giobelli, Andrea A Pellegrini, Marco M Chilosi, Maria M Lunardi, Guido G Martignoni, Aldo A Scarpa, Albino A Eccher

Indexed on: 08 Jan '15Published on: 08 Jan '15Published in: Diagnostic pathology


Validation of digital whole slide images is crucial to ensure that diagnostic performance is at least equivalent to that of glass slides and light microscopy. The College of American Pathologists Pathology and Laboratory Quality Center recently developed recommendations for internal digital pathology system validation. Following these guidelines we sought to validate the performance of a digital approach for routine diagnosis by using an iPad and digital control widescreen-assisted workstation through a pilot study.From January 2014, 61 histopathological slides were scanned by ScanScope Digital Slides Scanner (Aperio, Vista, CA). Two independent pathologists performed diagnosis on virtual slides in front of a widescreen by using two computer devices (ImageScope viewing software) located to different Health Institutions (AOUI Verona) connected by local network and a remote image server using an iPad tablet (Aperio, Vista, CA), after uploading the Citrix receiver for iPad. Quality indicators related to image characters and work-flow of the e-health cockpit enterprise system were scored based on subjective (high vs poor) perception. The images were re-evaluated two weeks apart.The whole glass slides encountered 10 liver: hepatocarcinoma, 10 renal carcinoma, 10 gastric carcinoma and 10 prostate biopsies: adenocarcinoma, 5 excisional skin biopsies: melanoma, 5 lymph-nodes: lymphoma. 6 immuno- and 5 special stains were available for intra- and internet remote viewing. Scan times averaged two minutes and 54 seconds per slide (standard deviation 2 minutes 34 seconds). Megabytes ranged from 256 to 680 (mean 390) per slide storage. Reliance on glass slide, image quality (resolution and color fidelity), slide navigation time, simultaneous viewers in geographically remote locations were considered of high performance score. Side by side comparisons between diagnosis performed on tissue glass slides versus widescreen were excellent showing an almost perfect concordance (0.81, kappa index).We validated our institutional digital pathology system for routine diagnostic facing with whole slide images in a cockpit enterprise digital system or iPad tablet. Computer widescreens are better for diagnosing scanned glass slide that iPad. For urgent requests, iPad may be used. Legal aspects have to be soon faced with to permit the clinical use of this technology in a manner that does not compromise patient care.