Digital pathology: a tool for 21st century neuropathology

Brain Pathol. 2009 Apr;19(2):305-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3639.2009.00264.x.


Digital pathology represents an electronic environment for performing pathologic analysis and managing the information associated with this activity. The technology to create and support digital pathology has largely developed over the last decade. The use of digital pathology tools is essential to adapt and lead in the rapidly changing environment of 21st century neuropathology. The utility of digital pathology has already been demonstrated by pathologists in several areas including consensus reviews, quality assurance (Q/A), tissue microarrays (TMAs), education and proficiency testing. These utilities notwithstanding, interface issues, storage and image formatting all present challenges to the integration of digital pathology into the neuropathology work environment. With continued technologic improvements, as well as the introduction of fluorescent side scanning and multispectral detection, future developments in digital pathology offer the promise of adding powerful analytic tools to the pathology work environment. The integration of digital pathology with biorepositories offers particular promise for neuropathologists engaged in tissue banking. The utilization of these tools will be essential for neuropathologists to continue as leaders in diagnostics, translational research and basic science in the 21st century.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / trends
  • Microscopy / methods
  • Microscopy / trends
  • Neurology / methods*
  • Neurology / trends
  • Pathology / methods*
  • Pathology / trends