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Clinical digital neuropathology: experience and observations from a departmental digital pathology training programme, validation and deployment
  1. Bethany Jill Williams1,2,
  2. Azzam Ismail1,2,
  3. Arundhati Chakrabarty1,2,
  4. Darren Treanor1,2
  1. 1 Histopathology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
  2. 2 Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bethany Jill Williams, Histopathology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK; bethany.williams2{at}nhs.net

Abstract

Aim To train and individually validate the neuropathologists in digital primary diagnosis and frozen section reporting using a novel protocol endorsed by the Royal College of Pathologists. The protocol allows early exposure to live digital reporting in a risk mitigated environment.

Methods Two specialist neuropathologists completed training in the use of a digital microscopy system for primary neuropathological diagnosis and frozen section assessment. Participants were exposed to training sets of 20 histology cases and 10 frozen sections designed to help them identify their personal digital diagnostic pitfalls. Following this, the pathologists viewed 340 live, complete neuropathology cases. All primary diagnoses were made on digital slides with immediate glass slide reconciliation before final case sign-out.

Results There was 100% clinical concordance between the digital slide and glass slide assessment of frozen section cases for each pathologist, and these assessments corresponded with the ground truth diagnoses obtained from examination of definitive histology. For primary diagnosis, there was complete clinical concordance between digital slide and glass slide diagnosis in 98.1% of cases. The majority of discordances were related to grading differences attributable to mitotic count differences.

Conclusion Neuropathologists can develop the ability to make primary digital diagnosis competently and confidently following a course of individual training and validation.

  • neuropathology
  • digital pathology
  • education
  • information technology

Data availability statement

No data are available.

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Footnotes

  • Handling editor Runjan Chetty.

  • Contributors BJW and DT designed the study. BJW drafted the manuscript and collected and analysed the data. AI and AC provided feedback on study design, participated in validation, provided images and gave feedback on drafts of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests DT and BJW are part of the Northern Pathology Imaging Co-Operative, which is supported by Leica Biosystems and Roche Ventana. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has a collaborative research partnership with Leica Biosystems for digital pathology deployment.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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