The use of digital whole slide images (WSI) in the field of pathology has become feasible for routine diagnostic purposes and has become more prevalent in recent years. This type of technology offers many advantages but must show the same degree of diagnostic reliability as conventional glass slides. Several studies have examined this issue in various settings and indicate that WSI are a reliable method for diagnostic pathology. Since transplant pathology is a highly specialized field that requires not only accurate but rapid diagnostic evaluation of biopsy materials, this field may greatly benefit from the use of WSI. In this study, we assessed the reliability of using WSI compared to conventional glass slides in renal allograft biopsies. We examined morphologic features and diagnostic categories defined by the Banff 07 Classification of Renal Allograft Pathology as well as additional morphologic features not included in this classification scheme. We found that intraobserver scores, when comparing the use of glass slides versus WSI, showed substantial agreement for both morphologic features (κ = 0.68) and acute rejection diagnostic categories (κ = 0.74). Furthermore, interobserver reliability was comparable for morphologic features (κ = 0.44 [glass] vs 0.42 [WSI]) and acute rejection diagnostic categories (κ = 0.49 [glass] vs 0.51 [WSI]). These data indicate that WSI are as reliable as glass slides for the evaluation of renal allograft biopsies.
- Diagnostic reliability
- Digital whole slide images
- Renal biopsy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine