Telecytology: intraobserver and interobserver reproducibility in the diagnosis of cervical-vaginal smears.

Alli PM, Ollayos CW, Thompson LD, Kapadia I, Butler DR, Williams BH, Rosenthal DL, O’leary TJ.
Hum Pathol. 2001 Dec;32(12):1318-22.
Telecytologic diagnosis of cervical-vaginal smears is potentially useful because it could allow more efficient use of cytopathologist resources and expertise. A pathologist in one location could, in principle, review cytotechnologists’ findings using a video display hundreds or thousands of miles away. Currently, bandwidth restrictions limit practical implementation of such a system to review of fields that had been selected for review by the cytotechnologist. The purpose of our investigation was to evaluate how well this type of review correlates with a review in which the entire slide is available for examination by the pathologist. We prospectively selected 100 consecutive cervical-vaginal smears over an 11-day period in August 1999. For each smear, 4 to 12 fields containing abnormal cells from each slide were digitally imaged. Each of 3 pathologists reviewed all digitized images and all glass slides. Diagnoses based on selected digitized images were compared with those based on conventional pathologist review. The kappa statistic, a measure of chance-corrected agreement (reproducibility), was calculated in each setting. Overall, intraobserver and interobserver reproducibility of cervical-vaginal smear diagnoses is fair to excellent. The use of remote digital images for pathologist review did not introduce large (2-step) diagnostic disagreements. The disagreement between a pathologist’s glass slide and digital diagnoses is less than that for different pathologists reviewing glass slides, although interobserver differences were even greater in the interpretation of digital images.
PubMed ID: 11774163
Article Size: <1 MB

Large-loop excision of the transformation zone: effect on the pathologic interpretation of resection margins.

Montz FJ, Holschneider CH, Thompson LD.
Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Jun;81(6):976-82.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of large-loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ) on the ability to interpret adequately the pathologic specimen and surgical margins.
METHODS: Fifty consecutive LLETZ specimens were used for repeat histopathologic assessment with emphasis on the interpretability of the surgical specimen and margin. All reevaluations were performed by a single pathologist. Complete lesion evaluability was defined as satisfactory accuracy of the histologic diagnosis and the ability to evaluate thoroughly all surgical margins. Medical records of the patients from whom the specimens were obtained were reviewed and analyzed for possible correlates to the status of specimen interpretability.
RESULTS: Histologic accuracy was sufficient in 46 cases (92%). Extensive heat distortion precluded full assessment of the ectocervical margins in ten (20%) and the endocervical margins in 22 (44%) of the cases. There was no difference in complete lesion evaluability whether LLETZ was performed solely for treatment in cases suitable for ablative procedures or for both diagnosis and treatment in patients who traditionally would have undergone a cone biopsy. If the latter group (N = 25) was analyzed separately, extensive heat distortion made histopathologic diagnosis impossible in four cases (16%) and precluded full assessment of the ectocervical margin in eight (32%) and the endocervical margin in 12 (48%).
CONCLUSION: The high rate of surgical-margin thermal destruction, with related limitation of interpretability, may represent a serious diagnostic and therapeutic limitation of the LLETZ procedure when considered as an alternative to cold knife conization.
PubMed ID: 8497366
Article Size: 2.5 MB