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Proceedings Paper

Analysis of slide exploration strategy of cytologists when reading digital slides
Author(s): Liron Pantanowitz M.D.; Anil Parwani M.D.; Eugene Tseytlin; Claudia Mello-Thoms
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Paper Abstract

Cytology is the sub-domain of Pathology that deals mainly with the diagnosis of cellular changes caused by disease. Current clinical practice involves a cytotechnologist that manually screens glass slides containing fixed cytology material using a light microscope. Screened slides are then forwarded to a specialized pathologist, a cytopathologist, for microscopic review and final diagnostic interpretation. If no abnormalities are detected, the specimen is interpreted as "normal", otherwise the abnormalities are marked with a pen on the glass slide by the cytotechnologist and then are used to render a diagnosis. As Pathology is migrating towards a digital environment it is important to determine whether these crucial screening and diagnostic tasks can be performed as well using digital slides as the current practice with glass slides. The purpose of this work is to make this assessment, by using a set of digital slides depicting cytological materials of different disease processes in several organs, and then to analyze how different cytologists including cytotechnologists, cytopathologists and cytotechnology-trainees explored the digital slides. We will (1) collect visual search data from the cytologists as they navigate the digital slides, as well as record any electronic marks (annotations) made by the cytologists; (2) convert the dynamic visual search data into a static representation of the observers' exploration strategy using 'search maps'; and (3) determine slide coverage, per viewing magnification range, for each group. We have developed a virtual microscope to collect this data, and this interface allows for interactive navigation of the virtual slide (including panning and zooming), as well as annotation of reportable findings. Furthermore, all interactions with the interface are time stamped, which allows us to recreate the cytologists' search strategy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 February 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8318, Medical Imaging 2012: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 83180O (28 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.912498
Show Author Affiliations
Liron Pantanowitz M.D., Univ. of Pittsburgh Medical Ctr. (United States)
Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
Anil Parwani M.D., Univ. of Pittsburgh Medical Ctr. (United States)
Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
Eugene Tseytlin, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
Claudia Mello-Thoms, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8318:
Medical Imaging 2012: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
Craig K. Abbey; Claudia R. Mello-Thoms, Editor(s)

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