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Concordance between digital pathology and light microscopy in general surgical pathology: a pilot study of 100 cases
  1. Joseph P Houghton1,
  2. Aaron J Ervine2,
  3. Sarah L Kenny2,
  4. Paul J Kelly2,
  5. Seamus S Napier2,
  6. W Glenn McCluggage2,
  7. Maureen Y Walsh2,
  8. Peter W Hamilton3
  1. 1Centre for Medical Education, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, N. Ireland
  2. 2Institute of Pathology, Belfast, N. Ireland
  3. 3Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, N. Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joseph P Houghton, Centre for Medical Education, Queen's University Belfast, Mulhouse Building, Grosvenor Road, Belfast BT12 6BJ, N. Ireland; Joseph.Houghton{at}


Aim (1) A pilot study to determine the accuracy of interpretation of whole slide digital images in a broad range of general histopathology cases of graded complexity. (2) To survey the participating histopathologists with regard to acceptability of digital pathology.

Materials and methods Glass slides of 100 biopsies and minor resections were digitally scanned in their entirety, producing digital slides. These cases had been diagnosed by light microscopy at least 1 year previously and were subsequently reassessed by the original reporting pathologist (who was blinded to their original diagnosis) using digital pathology. The digital pathology-based diagnosis was compared with the original glass slide diagnosis and classified as concordant, slightly discordant (without clinical consequence) or discordant. The participants were surveyed at the end of the study.

Results There was concordance between the original light microscopy diagnosis and digital pathology-based diagnosis in 95 of the 100 cases while the remaining 5 cases showed only slight discordance (with no clinical consequence). None of the cases were categorised as discordant. Participants had mixed experiences using digital pathology technology.

Conclusions In the broad range of cases we examined, digital pathology is a safe and viable method of making a primary histopathological diagnosis.


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