Journal Article
. 2017 Jun; 71:190-197.
doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2017.06.009.

An efficient architecture to support digital pathology in standard medical imaging repositories

Tiago Marques Godinho 1 Rui Lebre 2 Luís Bastião Silva 3 Carlos Costa 4 
  • PMID: 28602907
  •     5 citations


In the past decade, digital pathology and whole-slide imaging (WSI) have been gaining momentum with the proliferation of digital scanners from different manufacturers. The literature reports significant advantages associated with the adoption of digital images in pathology, namely, improvements in diagnostic accuracy and better support for telepathology. Moreover, it also offers new clinical and research applications. However, numerous barriers have been slowing the adoption of WSI, among which the most important are performance issues associated with storage and distribution of huge volumes of data, and lack of interoperability with other hospital information systems, most notably Picture Archive and Communications Systems (PACS) based on the DICOM standard. This article proposes an architecture of a Web Pathology PACS fully compliant with DICOM standard communications and data formats. The solution includes a PACS Archive responsible for storing whole-slide imaging data in DICOM WSI format and offers a communication interface based on the most recent DICOM Web services. The second component is a zero-footprint viewer that runs in any web-browser. It consumes data using the PACS archive standard web services. Moreover, it features a tiling engine especially suited to deal with the WSI image pyramids. These components were designed with special focus on efficiency and usability. The performance of our system was assessed through a comparative analysis of the state-of-the-art solutions. The results demonstrate that it is possible to have a very competitive solution based on standard workflows.

Keywords: DICOM; PACS; Pathology; Viewer; Web; Whole-slide imaging.

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