Ovarian frozen section diagnosis: use of whole-slide imaging shows excellent correlation between virtual slide and original interpretations in a large series of cases

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2010 Jul;134(7):1020-3. doi: 10.5858/2009-0320-OA.1.


Context: Whole-slide images (WSI) are a tool for remote interpretation, archiving, and teaching. Ovarian frozen sections (FS) are common and hence determination of the operating characteristics of the interpretation of these specimens using WSI is important.

Objectives: To test the reproducibility and accuracy of ovarian FS interpretation using WSI, as compared with routine analog interpretation, to understand the technology limits and unique interpretive pitfalls.

Design: A sequential series of ovarian FS slides, representative of routine practice, were converted to WSI. Whole-slide images were examined by 2 pathologists, masked to all prior results. Correlation characteristics among the WSI, the original, and the final interpretations were analyzed.

Results: A total of 52 cases, consisting of 71 FS slides, were included; 34 cases (65%) were benign, and 18 cases (35%) were malignant, borderline, and of uncertain potential (9 [17%], 7 [13%], and 2 [4%] of 52 cases, respectively). The correlation between WSI and FS interpretations was 96% (50 of 52) for each pathologist for benign versus malignant, borderline, and uncertain entities. Each pathologist undercalled 2 borderline malignant cases (4%) as benign cysts on WSI. There were no overcalls of benign cases. Specific issues within the benign and malignant groups involved endometriosis versus hemorrhagic corpora lutea, and granulosa cell tumor versus carcinoma, respectively.

Conclusions: The correlation between original FS and WSI interpretations was very high. The few discordant cases represent recognized differential diagnostic issues. Ability to examine gross pathology and real-time consultation with surgeons might be expected to improve performance. Ovarian FS diagnosis by WSI is accurate and reproducible, and thus, remote interpretation, teaching, and digital archiving of ovarian FS specimens by this method can be reliable.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Frozen Sections* / standards
  • Humans
  • Ovary / pathology*
  • Pathology, Clinical / methods*
  • Pathology, Clinical / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • User-Computer Interface*