Review of Whole Slide Imaging for Pediatric Specimens Advances Validation Process

Share Article

Whole slide imaging is an emerging technology that is poised to impact the practice of medicine by extending the virtual reach of pathologists. A study in the new issue of Pediatric and Developmental Pathology offers guidance for further development of whole slide imaging systems and advances the technology toward regulatory approval for use in primary diagnosis.

Pediatric and Developmental Pathology Volume 18, Issue 2

Essentially identical results or those with only minor differences that would not affect diagnosis were considered concordant while major differences or slides that were unsatisfactory for evaluation were deemed discordant.

Pediatric and Developmental Pathology—Whole slide imaging is an emerging technology that is poised to impact the practice of medicine by extending the virtual reach of pathologists. Classified as a medical device by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, whole slide imaging must be validated and approved before use in primary diagnosis. The College of American Pathologists has published guidelines for this validation, and a new study applies those guidelines specifically to specimens in the pediatric population.

The journal Pediatric and Developmental Pathology reports results of a whole slide imaging review of 60 surgical pathology cases and an attempted review of 21 cytopathology cases. This study, undertaken at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, offers guidance for further development of whole slide imaging systems and advances the technology toward regulatory approval for use in primary diagnosis.

Whole slide imaging is a digital scan of an entire glass slide, allowing the digital file to be viewed on a computer monitor rather than through a microscope. The College of American Pathologists points out that it has the advantages of accessibility, portability, and easy archiving as well as the use of computer-aided diagnostic tools. Validation will determine whether whole slide imaging can replace the light microscope as the method pathologists use to review specimens and render diagnoses.

In accordance with the College of American Pathologists guidelines, this study reviewed varied specimens, including complex and less common diagnoses. Results of whole slide imaging were compared with the original glass slide diagnoses. Essentially identical results or those with only minor differences that would not affect diagnosis were considered concordant while major differences or slides that were unsatisfactory for evaluation were deemed discordant.

Of the 60 surgical pathology cases, which included 130 specimens in 473 slides, only 1 was found discordant. Review of cytopathology cases proved more difficult, with a discordant rate of 33.3 percent. Nucleated red blood cells and eosinophilic granular bodies were particular challenges when using whole slide imaging for pediatric specimens. The authors noted that image capture in multiple focal planes is likely needed to successfully review cytopathology specimens.

This first review of exclusively pediatric specimens confirms the feasibility of this technology. “Our experience with whole slide imaging extends the possibilities for this technology further into the field of pediatric pathology and supports the validation model proposed by the College of American Pathologists,” said author Michael A. Arnold.

Full text of “The College of American Pathologists Guidelines for Whole Slide Imaging Validation Are Feasible for Pediatric Pathology: A Pediatric Pathology Practice Experience,” Pediatric and Developmental Pathology, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2015, is now available.

###

About Pediatric and Developmental Pathology
Pediatric and Developmental Pathology is the premier journal dealing with the pathology of disease from conception through adolescence. It covers the spectrum of disorders developing in utero (including embryology, placentology, and teratology), gestational and perinatal diseases, and all diseases of childhood. For more information about the journal or society, please visit: http://www.pedpath.org

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jason Snell
Allen Press, Inc.
+1 8006270326 Ext: 410
Email >
Visit website