Digital Pathology in a Web-based System to Study Renal Disease in Animals
To improve standards for diagnosis of renal diseases in animals by integrating pathologic findings from histologic, ultrastructural, and immunostaining examinations of specimens with clinical information in a way that facilitates collecting, analyzing, and sharing information.
Combine digital pathology imagery using Aperio ScanScope® with Prelude Dynamics' Vision software system, designed for electronic data capture of medical records in clinical trials. The result is an integrated web-based system that provides an innovative and efficient solution that is extensible, accessible, and affordable.
Nephropathology is unique among sub-specialties of anatomic pathology for its routine use of ultrastructural (transmission electron microscopic) examinations together with histologic (light microscopic) findings and immunostaining (immunofluorescence microscopy) for the diagnosis of common diseases, especially those affecting glomeruli. Findings must be carefully integrated with information derived from the clinical investigation of the patient’s illness in order to formulate the correct diagnosis.
In 2005, Dr. George Lees, DVM, MS, Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Texas A&M University started a prototype DRPC at TAMU, and in 2006 began adapting Prelude Dynamics' Vision software product (designed principally for electronic data capture for clinical trials) to support the center’s work. The result was a web-based “pathology component” for communication with specialty colleagues and collaborators, communication among front-line providers, and database and image archive in which LM, TEM, & IF images were uploaded and associated with cases. The prototype allowed referral veterinarians to enter cases, track shipping of specimens, and view final reports from the pathologist(s) from any geographic location. The prototype provided a measure of digital image sharing and case-by-case electronic data management. However, the Vision system was not intended as a digital image processing system, and it did not meet the goal of easily sharing and annotating digital specimens.
In 2007, financial support provided through the WSAVA enhanced Dr. Lees' prototype and established two initial DRPCs; one located at Texas A&M University for North America and the other at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, for Europe. This step included three major improvements to the prototype:
Results & Benefits
Users now have a web-based mechanism to enter detailed case information that is globally accessible and shareable using Vision; and includes “direct” access to all digital pathology imagery and image management and viewing capabilities of Spectrum Plus and ImageScope. Image thumbnails and key entries from the slide tables are integrated in a view of the case information. When users click thumbnails, the system launches ImageScope, which then deploys the images from the TAMU or Utrecht server where the images are located.
Key functional needs have been successfully addressed: multi-center data capture, digital pathology, and on-line conferencing. The project integrated separate technology solutions with complementary strengths:
The project has built a core infrastructure that can readily be expanded by creating additional DRPCs and can function as a simple ‘registry’ of all renal pathology cases submitted for evaluation, as well as a means to study cases entered in sponsored studies or prospective clinical trials that have specific study protocols (e.g., entry criteria, prescribed follow-up exams, etc.).
About Prelude Dynamics
Prelude Dynamics is a global provider of customized web-based software systems for data collection, analysis and management of clinical trials, studies and registries. We streamline eClinical operations through our unique and innovative Vision software system, which allows us to rapidly configure data collection solutions for pharmaceutical, CRO, medical device, animal health, and university organizations.
Aperio is digitizing pathology. We provide systems and services for digital pathology, which is a digital environment for the management and interpretation of pathology information that originates with a digital slide. Aperio's award-winning ScanScope® slide scanning system and SpectrumTM digital pathology information management software improve the efficiency and quality of pathology services for patholgists and other professionals. Applications include education, remote viewing, archival and retrieval, basic research, and image analysis.