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Cytojournal. 2013 Oct 29;10:22. doi: 10.4103/1742-6413.120790. eCollection 2013.

Screening and dotting virtual slides: A new challenge for cytotechnologists.

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1
Address: Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Abstract

Digital images are increasingly being used in cytopathology. Whole-slide imaging (WSI) is a digital imaging modality that uses computerized technology to scan and convert entire cytology glass slides into digital images that can be viewed on a digital display using the image viewer software. Digital image acquisition of cytology glass slides has improved significantly over the years due to the use of liquid-based preparations and advances in WSI scanning technology such as automatic multipoint pre-scan focus technology or z-stack scanning technology. Screening cytotechnologists are responsible for every cell that is present on an imaged slide. One of the challenges users have to overcome is to establish a technique to review systematically the entire imaged slide and to dot selected abnormal or significant findings. The scope of this article is to review the current user interface technology available for virtual slide navigation when screening digital slides in cytology. WSI scanner vendors provide tools, built into the image viewer software that allow for a more systematic navigation of the virtual slides, such as auto-panning, keyboard-controlled slide navigation and track map. Annotation tools can improve communication between the screener and the final reviewer or can be used for education. The tracking functionality allows recording of the WSI navigation process and provides a mechanism for confirmation of slide coverage by the screening cytotechnologist as well as a useful tool for quality assurance. As the WSI technology matures, additional features and tools to support navigation of a cytology virtual slide are anticipated.

KEYWORDS:

Digital imaging; image viewer; informatics; virtual slide navigation; virtual slide screening; whole slide imaging

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