Focus on technology: How important is resolution in telecytopathology?

Cancer Cytopathol. 2014 Jul;122(7):546-52. doi: 10.1002/cncy.21404. Epub 2014 Mar 27.


Background: The authors conducted an analysis of 2 telepathology systems with different resolutions to determine how resolution affects the pathologists' ability to provide preliminary diagnoses for fine-needle aspirations (FNA).

Methods: FNA cases evaluated by telepathology between February 1, 2011 and January 18, 2012 were reviewed. Concordance indices between preliminary and final diagnoses were calculated for cases assessed with two proprietary systems (the Remote Meeting Technologies iMedHD system and the Olympus NetCam system) using 3 diagnostic classifications (negative, atypical, and suspicious/positive). A Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to compare the number of passes necessary to determine adequacy.

Results: In total, 298 NetCam cases and 26 iMedHD cases were evaluated. The concordance index, which was calculated using the 3 classifications, was 0.943 (95% confidence interval, 0.922-0.963) for NetCam compared with 0.951 (95% confidence interval, 0.898-1.000) for iMedHD. The mean value for the number of passes required to determine adequacy was 2.2 for NetCam and 2.1 for iMedHD (P = .838).

Conclusions: The results from statistical analyses demonstrated no difference in the concordance indices between preliminary and final diagnoses or in the number of passes necessary to render adequacy between the 2 telepathology systems. However, because it had higher resolution along with other features, the iMedHD system achieved greater user satisfaction.

Keywords: fine-needle aspirations; immediate evaluations; preliminary diagnoses; telecytopathology; telepathology.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Humans
  • Telepathology / methods*