[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The histologic diagnosis of skin lesions in the developing world is complicated by the shortage of pathologists with subspecialty training in dermatopathology, limited access to ancillary diagnostic testing, and costly referrals for expert glass slide consultation in challenging cases.
In this study we evaluate the feasibility of a static-image telepathology platform in Africa for performing accurate dermatopathology consultations.
A static-image telepathology platform using the iPath server was utilized by referring pathologists in 4 African hospitals. Diagnostic interpretations were provided by Massachusetts General Hospital dermatopathologists at no cost. The diagnostic accuracy and interobserver correlation was evaluated.
The static histopathologic images were diagnostic in 22 of 29 (76%) cases. Diagnostic accuracy between static image and glass slide diagnosis in 22 cases was 91%, ranging from 86% to 95% according to years of dermatopathology subspecialty expertise. Comparison with the glass slides showed that the telepathology diagnosis was limited by inappropriate field selection in only one case. Interobserver concordance between two pathologists was high (K = 0.86) suggesting that this platform is easy to use with minimal training of both referring and consulting pathologists.
Concordance between conventional microscopy and static image telepathology was performed in 22 of 29 cases for which glass slides were received. Interobserver concordance was performed for two pathologists.
Static-image telepathology is a feasible means of rendering diagnoses on dermatopathology cases and is a cost-effective technology for obtaining much-needed second opinions in resource-poor settings.
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 02/2012; 67(5):997-1007. DOI:10.1016/j.jaad.2011.12.036 · 4.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted a pilot study to assess the feasibility of telecytology as a diagnostic tool in difficult cases originating from a hospital in East Africa. Forty cytology cases considered difficult by a referring pathologist were posted on a telepathology website. Six pathologists independently assessed the static images. Telecytology diagnoses were compared with the consensus diagnoses made on glass slides and also with the histogical diagnoses when available. The diagnostic agreement of the six pathologists was 71-93% and tended to be higher for pathologists with more experience. Reasons for discordance included poor image quality, presence of diagnostic cells in thick areas of smears, sampling bias and screening errors. The consensus diagnoses agreed with histological diagnoses in all 17 cases in which a biopsy was performed. Diagnostic accuracy rates (i.e. telecytology diagnosis vs. histological diagnosis) for individual pathologists were 65-88%. To ensure diagnostic accuracy both referring and consulting pathologists must have adequate training in cytology, image acquisition and image-based diagnosis and the diagnostic questions of importance must be clearly communicated by the referring pathologist when posting a case.
Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 11/2011; 18(1):7-12. DOI:10.1258/jtt.2011.110308 · 1.54 Impact Factor