Development of Functional Requirements for Ex Vivo Pathology Applications of In Vivo Microscopy Systems: A Proposal From the In Vivo Microscopy Committee of the College of American Pathologists

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2019 Sep;143(9):1052-1057. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2018-0482-OA. Epub 2019 Feb 14.


Context.—: In vivo microscopy (IVM) allows direct, real-time visualization of tissue histology in living patients without the need for tissue removal, processing, or staining. The IVM technologies in clinical use include confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography. These technologies also show promise for use with pathology specimens (ex vivo microscopy [EVM]). However, few systems designed for EVM are commercially available, at least in part because of the lack of defined minimal functional requirements (FRs).

Objective.—: To develop minimal FRs for likely high-volume pathology applications of EVM.

Design.—: The IVM Committee of the College of American Pathologists identified potential EVM pathology applications based on the published literature. A subcommittee of IVM and EVM early adopters and experts then defined FRs for the most likely EVM applications.

Results.—: Potential EVM applications include assessment of margins, adequacy of needle biopsies and aspirates for diagnosis, and transplant tissues; selection of tissue for molecular studies or biorepository; and guidance in block selection from gross specimens. The first 3 applications were selected for development of FRs. The FRs were identified based on existing laboratory practices and guidelines and input from experts in the field and included device footprint and portability, specimen preparation, imaging time, field of view or resolution, morphologic diagnostic capability, yield, accuracy, ease of use, safety, and cost.

Conclusions.—: Consensus was achieved on FRs that would accommodate the selected EVM applications. Publication and dissemination of those FRs will provide guidance to engineers, researchers, and vendors on how to optimally adapt IVM technologies for EVM for widespread adoption by pathologists.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Frozen Sections / economics
  • Frozen Sections / instrumentation
  • Frozen Sections / methods
  • Humans
  • Intravital Microscopy / instrumentation*
  • Intravital Microscopy / methods
  • Margins of Excision
  • Microscopy / instrumentation*
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Microscopy / trends
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Pathology / economics
  • Pathology / instrumentation*
  • Pathology / methods*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Specimen Handling / methods
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence