. 1996 Oct; 106(4 Suppl 1):S25-32.

Digital imaging in anatomic pathology

M J O'Brien 1 A V Sotnikov  
  • PMID: 8853053
  •     8 citations


Advances in computer technology continue to bring new innovations to departments of anatomic pathology. This article briefly reviews the present status of digital optical imaging, and explores the directions that this technology may lead over the next several years. Technical requirements for digital microscopic and gross imaging, and the available options for image archival and retrieval are summarized. The advantages of digital images over conventional photography in the conference room, and the usefulness of digital imaging in the frozen section suite and gross room, as an adjunct to surgical signout and as a resource for training and education, are discussed. An approach to the future construction of digital histologic sections and the computer as microscope is described. The digital technologic applications that are now available as components of the surgical pathologist's workstation are enumerated. These include laboratory information systems, computerized voice recognition, and on-line or CD-based literature searching, texts and atlases and, in some departments, on-line image databases. The authors suggest that, in addition to these resources that are already available, tomorrow's surgical pathology workstation will include network-linked digital histologic databases, on-line software for image analysis and 3-D image enhancement, expert systems, and ultimately, advanced pattern recognition capabilities. In conclusion, the authors submit that digital optical imaging is likely to have a significant and positive impact on the future development of anatomic pathology.

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