Increasing specimen coverage using digital whole-mount breast pathology: implementation, clinical feasibility and application in research

Comput Med Imaging Graph. Oct-Dec 2011;35(7-8):531-41. doi: 10.1016/j.compmedimag.2011.05.002. Epub 2011 Jun 11.


Conventional histopathological evaluation is performed on breast specimens using a highly limited sampling of tissues visualized in a two-dimensional (2D) manner although important tumor measurements are three-dimensional. Here we describe a '3D' technique for whole-mount, whole-specimen processing which reduces conformational change and dramatically increases specimen coverage, based on digitizing whole-specimen, whole-mount (up to 12.7cm×17.8cm) serial sections. We describe hardware and software tools for acquiring, viewing and processing the large image datasets (up to 400GB), validation studies investigating the clinical significance of the additional information gleaned from the 3D approach, and application to radiologic-pathologic correlation and biomarker visualization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Computers
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / instrumentation*
  • Microscopy
  • Research
  • Software
  • Specimen Handling / methods
  • User-Computer Interface