Advertisement

Virchows Archiv

, Volume 448, Issue 3, pp 248–255 | Cite as

Factors to keep in mind when introducing virtual microscopy

  • Katharina Glatz-KriegerEmail author
  • Udo Spornitz
  • Alain Spatz
  • Michael J. Mihatsch
  • Dieter Glatz
Original Article

Abstract

Digitization of glass slides and delivery of so-called virtual slides (VS) emulating a real microscope over the Internet have become reality due to recent improvements in technology. We have implemented a virtual microscope for instruction of medical students and for continuing medical education. Up to 30,000 images per slide are captured using a microscope with an automated stage. The images are post-processed and then served by a plain hypertext transfer protocol (http)-server. A virtual slide client (vMic) based on Macromedia's Flash MX, a highly accepted technology available on every modern Web browser, has been developed. All necessary virtual slide parameters are stored in an XML file together with the image. Evaluation of the courses by questionnaire indicated that most students and many but not all pathologists regard virtual slides as an adequate replacement for traditional slides. All our virtual slides are publicly accessible over the World Wide Web (WWW) at http://vmic.unibas.ch. Recently, several commercially available virtual slide acquisition systems (VSAS) have been developed that use various technologies to acquire and distribute virtual slides. These systems differ in speed, image quality, compatibility, viewer functionalities and price. This paper gives an overview of the factors to keep in mind when introducing virtual microscopy.

Keywords

Telepathology Virtual slides Virtual microscopy Continuing medical education 

Abbreviations

NA

Numerical aperture

VM

Virtual microscope

VS

Virtual slide

VSAS

Virtual slide acquisition system

VSS

Virtual slide system

WWW

World Wide Web

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Drs. Ray Barnhill, Martin Cook, Dirk Ruiter, Heinz Regele and Hermann-Josef Gröne for the contribution of cases for the VS seminars. This work has been supported by a grant of the University of Basel.

References

  1. 1.
    Afework A, Beynon MD, Bustamante F, Cho S, Demarzo A, Ferreira R, Miller R, Silberman M, Saltz J, Sussman A, Tsang H (1998) Digital dynamic telepathology—the virtual microscope. Proc AMIA Symp: 912–916Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Blake CA, Lavoie HA, Millette CF (2003) Teaching medical histology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine: transition to virtual slides and virtual microscopes. Anat Rec B New Anat 275:196–206CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Catalyurek U, Beynon MD, Chang C, Kurc T, Sussman A, Saltz J (2003) The virtual microscope. IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed 7:230–248CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Costello SS, Johnston DJ, Dervan PA, O'Shea DG (2003) Development and evaluation of the virtual pathology slide: a new tool in telepathology. J Med Internet Res 5:e11CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dee FR, Lehman JM, Consoer D, Leaven T, Cohen MB (2003) Implementation of virtual microscope slides in the annual pathobiology of cancer workshop laboratory. Hum Pathol 34:430–436CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Demichelis F, Barbareschi M, Dalla Palma P, Forti S (2002) The virtual case: a new method to completely digitize cytological and histological slides. Virchows Arch 441:159–164CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Demichelis F, Della Mea V, Forti S, Dalla Palma P, Beltrami CA (2002) Digital storage of glass slides for quality assurance in histopathology and cytopathology. J Telemed Telecare 8:138–142CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Giltnane JM, Rimm DL (2004) Technology Insight: identification of biomarkers with tissue microarray technology. Nature Clinical Practice Oncology 1:104–111CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Glatz-Krieger K, Glatz D, Mihatsch MJ (2003) Virtual slides: high-quality demand, physical limitations, and affordability. Hum Pathol 34:968–974CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Harris T, Leaven T, Heidger P, Kreiter C, Duncan J, Dick F (2001) Comparison of a virtual microscope laboratory to a regular microscope laboratory for teaching histology. Anat Rec 265:10–14CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Harrison JH Jr, Stewart J 3rd (2003) Training in pathology informatics: implementation at the University of Pittsburgh. Arch Pathol Lab Med 127:1019–1025PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Heidger PM Jr, Dee F, Consoer D, Leaven T, Duncan J, Kreiter C (2002) Integrated approach to teaching and testing in histology with real and virtual imaging. Anat Rec 269:107–112CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Helin H, Lundin M, Lundin J, Martikainen P, Tammela T, van der Kwast T, Isola J (2005) Web-based virtual microscopy in teaching and standardizing Gleason grading. Hum Pathol 36:381–386CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Henricks WH, Boyer PJ, Harrison JH, Tuthill JM, Healy JC (2003) Informatics training in pathology residency programs: proposed learning objectives and skill sets for the new millennium. Arch Pathol Lab Med 127:1009–1018PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kumar RK, Velan GM, Korell SO, Kandara M, Dee FR, Wakefield D (2004) Virtual microscopy for learning and assessment in pathology. J Pathol 204:613–618CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Leong FJ, McGee JO (2001) Automated complete slide digitization: a medium for simultaneous viewing by multiple pathologists. J Pathol 195:508–514CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Leong FJ, Graham AK, Schwarzmann P, McGee JO (2000) Clinical trial of telepathology as an alternative modality in breast histopathology quality assurance. Telemed J E Health 6:373–377CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Marchevsky AM, Relan A, Baillie S (2003) Self-instructional “virtual pathology” laboratories using web-based technology enhance medical school teaching of pathology. Hum Pathol 34:423–429CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Marchevsky AM, Wan Y, Thomas P, Krishnan L, Evans-Simon H, Haber H (2003) Virtual microscopy as a tool for proficiency testing in cytopathology: a model using multiple digital images of Papanicolaou tests. Arch Pathol Lab Med 127:1320–1324PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Molnar B, Berczi L, Diczhazy C, Tagscherer A, Varga SV, Szende B, Tulassay Z (2003) Digital slide and virtual microscopy based routine and telepathology evaluation of routine gastrointestinal biopsy specimens. J Clin Pathol 56:433–438CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Okada DH, Binder SW, Felten CL, Strauss JS, Marchevsky AM (1999) “Virtual microscopy” and the internet as telepathology consultation tools: diagnostic accuracy in evaluating melanocytic skin lesions. Am J Dermatopathol 21:525–531CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Romer DJ, Suster S (2003) Use of virtual microscopy for didactic live-audience presentation in anatomic pathology. Ann Diagn Pathol 7:67–72CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Romer DJ, Yearsley KH, Ayers LW (2003) Using a modified standard microscope to generate virtual slides. Anat Rec 272B:91–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Steinberg DM, Ali SZ (2001) Application of virtual microscopy in clinical cytopathology. Diagn Cytopathol 25:389–396CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Weinstein RS, Descour MR, Liang C, Bhattacharyya AK, Graham AR, Davis JR, Scott KM, Richter L, Krupinski EA, Szymus J, Kayser K, Dunn BE (2001) Telepathology overview: from concept to implementation. Hum Pathol 32:1283–1299CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Weinstein RS, Descour MR, Liang C, Barker G, Scott KM, Richter L, A. KE, Bhattacharyya AK, Davis JR, Graham AR, Rennels M, Russum WC, Goodall JF, Zhou P, Olszak AG, Williams BH, Wyant JC, Bartels PH (2004) An array microscope for ultrarapid virtual slide processing and telepathology. Design, fabrication, and validation Study. Hum Pathol 35:1303–1314CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Zito FA, Marzullo F, D'Errico D, Salvatore C, Digirolamo R, Labriola A, Pellecchia A (2004) Quicktime virtual reality technology in light microscopy to support medical education in pathology. Mod Pathol 17:728–731CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharina Glatz-Krieger
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Udo Spornitz
    • 2
  • Alain Spatz
    • 3
  • Michael J. Mihatsch
    • 1
  • Dieter Glatz
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Pathology, University Hospital of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.Anatomical Institute, University of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Institute Gustave RoussyVillejuifFrance
  4. 4.IT DepartmentUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  5. 5.Institut für PathologieBaselSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations