Utility of Digital Microscopy for Renal Biopsy Adequacy Assessment
La'Tonzia L Adams, Suman Setty, Elizabeth L Wiley. University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Background: At our institution pathology residents are required to have expertise in assessing renal biopsies for adequacy. We tested a novel approach, using a digital microscope connected to a netbook, for visualization of renal biopsy cores. We compared the glomerular counts with results from a conventional dissecting scope. We trained faculty, residents, and technical staff to use both methods. A survey of the participants was performed to assess the impact on operator competence and outcome.
Design: Digital and dissecting microscopes were used to assess renal biopsies. The specimens were visualized and a glomerular count was enumerated for each core including perfusing and obsolescent glomeruli. Both techniques were applied by two independent operators on a total of 23 biopsies and the results compared with counts from formalin fixed histologic sections. A survey questionnaire was distributed to individuals who operated the conventional method (Group 1) and those who used both methods (Group 2), to assess their impression of change in competence, professional relationship, and modality preference.
Results: The glomerular counts obtained by the two methods were compared to the counts obtained from histologic sections. This quantitative data demonstrated no significant difference in glomerular counts (p = 0.5) between the two methods, thus validating the digital microscope as a viable option for assessing adequacy. Qualitative data from the survey demonstrated a 9% increase in perceived level of competence and a 9% improvement in relationship with clinicians in Group 2.
Conclusions: A comparison of two methods of renal biopsy assessment demonstrated that the new digital microscope method yielded similar results to the conventional dissecting scope, thus offering a viable option. A survey qualitatively assessed subjective operator competence and its impact on professional relationships, revealing an increased level of perceived competence, and a more positive professional relationship with clinicians, in individuals who used the digital microscope.
Monday, March 19, 2012 9:30 AM
Poster Session I Stowell-Orbison/Surgical Pathology/Autopsy Awards Poster Session # 91, Monday Morning