Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21

Validation of a novel robotic telepathology platform for neuropathology intraoperative touch preparations

Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Correspondence Address:
Michael J Thrall
Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX 77030
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2153-3539.137642

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Background: Robotic telepathology (RT) allows a remote pathologist to control and view a glass slide over the internet. This technology has been demonstrated to be effective on several platforms, but we present the first report on the validation of RT using the iScan Coreo Au whole slide imaging scanner. Methods: One intraoperative touch preparation slide from each of 100 cases were examined twice (200 total cases) using glass slides and RT, with a 3 week washout period between viewings, on two different scanners at two remote sites. This included 75 consecutive neuropathology cases and 25 consecutive general surgical pathology cases. Interpretations were compared using intraobserver variability. Results: Of the 200 total cases, one failed on RT. There were 47 total interpretive variances. Most of these were the result of less specific interpretations or an inability to identify scant diagnostic material on RT. Nine interpretive variances had potentially significant clinical implications (4.5%). Using the final diagnosis as a basis for comparison to evaluate these nine cases, three RT interpretations and three glass slide interpretations were considered to be discrepant. In the other three cases, both modalities were discrepant. This distribution of discrepancies indicates that underlying case difficulty, not the RT technology, probably accounts for these major variances. For the subset of 68 neoplastic neuropathology cases, the unweighted kappa of agreement between glass slides and RT was 0.68 (good agreement). RT took 225 s on average versus only 71 s per glass slide. Conclusions: This validation demonstrates that RT using the iScan Coreo Au system is a reasonable method for supplying remote neuropathology expertise for the intraoperative interpretation of touch preparations, but is limited by the slowness of the robotics, crude focusing, and the challenge of determining where to examine the slide using small thumbnail images.

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