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4.
Arch Pathol Lab Med ; 145(7): 814-820, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314912

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT.­: In the early months of the response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHUSOM) (Baltimore, Maryland) leadership reached out to faculty to develop and implement virtual clinical clerkships after all in-person medical student clinical experiences were suspended. OBJECTIVE.­: To develop and implement a digital slide-based virtual surgical pathology (VSP) clinical elective to meet the demand for meaningful and robust virtual clinical electives in response to the temporary suspension of in-person clinical rotations at JHUSOM. DESIGN.­: The VSP elective was modeled after the in-person surgical pathology elective to include virtual previewing and sign-out with standardized cases supplemented by synchronous and asynchronous pathology educational content. RESULTS.­: Validation of existing Web communications technology and slide-scanning systems was performed by feasibility testing. Curriculum development included drafting of course objectives and syllabus, Blackboard course site design, electronic-lecture creation, communications with JHUSOM leadership, scheduling, and slide curation. Subjectively, the weekly schedule averaged 35 to 40 hours of asynchronous, synchronous, and independent content, approximately 10 to 11 hours of which were synchronous. As of February 2021, VSP has hosted 35 JHUSOM and 8 non-JHUSOM students, who have provided positive subjective and objective course feedback. CONCLUSIONS.­: The Johns Hopkins VSP elective provided meaningful clinical experience to 43 students in a time of immense online education need. Added benefits of implementing VSP included increased medical student exposure to pathology as a medical specialty and demonstration of how digital slides have the potential to improve standardization of the pathology clerkship curriculum.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Clinical Clerkship/methods , Education, Distance/methods , Education, Medical, Undergraduate/methods , Pathology, Surgical/education , Baltimore/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Clinical Clerkship/organization & administration , Curriculum , Education, Distance/organization & administration , Education, Medical, Undergraduate/organization & administration , Humans , Pandemics , Pathology, Surgical/methods , Program Development
5.
Am J Clin Pathol ; 155(5): 638-648, 2021 04 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207251

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The ongoing global severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic necessitates adaptations in the practice of surgical pathology at scale. Primary diagnosis by whole-slide imaging (WSI) is a key component that would aid departments in providing uninterrupted histopathology diagnosis and maintaining revenue streams from disruption. We sought to perform rapid validation of the use of WSI in primary diagnosis meeting recommendations of the College of American Pathologists guidelines. METHODS: Glass slides from clinically reported cases from 5 participating pathologists with a preset washout period were digitally scanned and reviewed in settings identical to typical reporting. Cases were classified as concordant or with minor or major disagreement with the original diagnosis. Randomized subsampling was performed, and mean concordance rates were calculated. RESULTS: In total, 171 cases were included and distributed equally among participants. For the group as a whole, the mean concordance rate in sampled cases (n = 90) was 83.6% counting all discrepancies and 94.6% counting only major disagreements. The mean pathologist concordance rate in sampled cases (n = 18) ranged from 90.49% to 97%. CONCLUSIONS: We describe a novel double-blinded method for rapid validation of WSI for primary diagnosis. Our findings highlight the occurrence of a range of diagnostic reproducibility when deploying digital methods.


Subject(s)
Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted/methods , Pathology, Surgical/methods , Telepathology/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted/standards , Observer Variation , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pathology, Surgical/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Reproducibility of Results , Retrospective Studies , Telepathology/standards
6.
Am J Clin Pathol ; 155(5): 638-648, 2021 04 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054263

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The ongoing global severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic necessitates adaptations in the practice of surgical pathology at scale. Primary diagnosis by whole-slide imaging (WSI) is a key component that would aid departments in providing uninterrupted histopathology diagnosis and maintaining revenue streams from disruption. We sought to perform rapid validation of the use of WSI in primary diagnosis meeting recommendations of the College of American Pathologists guidelines. METHODS: Glass slides from clinically reported cases from 5 participating pathologists with a preset washout period were digitally scanned and reviewed in settings identical to typical reporting. Cases were classified as concordant or with minor or major disagreement with the original diagnosis. Randomized subsampling was performed, and mean concordance rates were calculated. RESULTS: In total, 171 cases were included and distributed equally among participants. For the group as a whole, the mean concordance rate in sampled cases (n = 90) was 83.6% counting all discrepancies and 94.6% counting only major disagreements. The mean pathologist concordance rate in sampled cases (n = 18) ranged from 90.49% to 97%. CONCLUSIONS: We describe a novel double-blinded method for rapid validation of WSI for primary diagnosis. Our findings highlight the occurrence of a range of diagnostic reproducibility when deploying digital methods.


Subject(s)
Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted/methods , Pathology, Surgical/methods , Telepathology/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted/standards , Observer Variation , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pathology, Surgical/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Reproducibility of Results , Retrospective Studies , Telepathology/standards
8.
Am J Clin Pathol ; 154(6): 724-730, 2020 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1015201

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To determine the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on our service, pre-, and postgraduate education and discuss the measures taken to ensure continued provision of quality service as well as education during the mandatory lockdown. METHODS: Measures taken to protect staff from infection and minimize virus transmission within the department as well as measures taken to allow smooth provision of quality service and uninterrupted pre- and postgraduate education were analyzed. Data were collected regarding case volumes (histology, cytology, and frozen sections) and case complexity during the lockdown and analyzed. RESULTS: Staggered rota was introduced for all staff. Strict social distancing measures were implemented. Staff was extensively counseled regarding the importance of protective measures. Pre- and postgraduate education, which was temporarily suspended, was quickly resumed using online teaching ensuring continuation of academic activities. The volume of cases decreased during the lockdown but complexity increased even more. CONCLUSIONS: Immediate and effective measures were taken to protect staff from infection and ensure smooth provision of quality services. Measures were quickly taken to ensure resumption of pre- and postgraduate academic activities. The volume of cases decreased but complexity increased. There is fear among faculty and staff regarding the future.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pathology, Surgical , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Occupational Health , Pakistan , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pathology, Surgical/education , Pathology, Surgical/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2
10.
J Surg Oncol ; 123(1): 24-31, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-882356

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Italy was severely affected by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic. Our Institution, Piedmont's largest tertiary referral center, was designated as a non-COVID-19 hospital and activities were reorganized to prioritize critical services like oncological care. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy in preserving the oncological surgical practice at our Institution during the most critical months of the COVID-19 epidemic by analyzing the surgical pathology activity. METHODS: The number of oncological surgical resections submitted to histopathological examination from 9th March 2020 to 8th May 2020 were collected as well staging/grading data and compared with the previous three pre-COVID-19 years (2017-2019). RESULTS: Overall, no decrease was observed for most tumor sites (5/9) while breast resections showed the largest drop (109 vs. 160; -31.9%), although a full recovery was already noticed during the second half of the period. Conversely, the selected control benchmarks showed a sharp decrease (-80.4%). Distribution of pathological TNM stages (or tumor grades for central nervous system tumors) showed no significant differences during the lockdown compared with previous years (p > .05). CONCLUSIONS: The present data suggest the possibility of preserving this cornerstone oncological activity during an evolving public health emergency thanks to a prompt workflow reorganization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Neoplasms/surgery , Pathology, Surgical , SARS-CoV-2 , Surgical Oncology , Humans , Neoplasm Staging , Neoplasms/pathology , Referral and Consultation , Tertiary Care Centers
12.
Pathobiology ; 88(1): 46-55, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-635441

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 caused a pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Unprecedented public health actions were introduced, including social distancing, travel restrictions and quarantine. The Belgian government announced a national emergency plan, thereby postponing all non-urgent medical consultations and operations. This report analyses the impact of these measures on cancer screening, through assessment of the workload of a laboratory for histopathology and cytopathology. METHODS: Data on monthly numbers of histological and cytological samples, immunohistochemistry and molecular tests were extracted from the laboratory information management system. RESULTS: The global histopathological and cytological workload was substantially reduced. The impact on oncology-related surgical procedures was rather limited. The anti-COVID-19 measures significantly diminished all screening-related samples, such as colon biopsies, breast biopsies and cervical cytology, and strongly reduced the number of samples related to "functional" pathology, such as thyroidectomies and gastric biopsies. CONCLUSIONS: Since many health care interventions are reflected in the workload of a pathology laboratory, this study enabled us to identify areas for "deconfinement" health care actions. Our findings indicate that various areas in medicine were affected, but the impact seemed largest for cancer screening. Health care professionals should assure that consultations related to cancer screening are postponed instead of cancelled.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Early Detection of Cancer , Government , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Belgium , COVID-19/prevention & control , Early Detection of Cancer/methods , Humans , Neoplasms , Pathology, Surgical/methods , Quarantine
13.
Ann Diagn Pathol ; 48: 151560, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-621789

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically changed the world over the past weeks, with already 8,25 million infections and 445,000 deaths worldwide, leading to an unprecedented international global effort to contain the virus and prevent its spread. The emergence of novel respiratory viruses such as the SARS-CoV-2 creates dramatic challenges to the healthcare services, including surgical pathology laboratories, despite their extensive daily experience in dealing with biological and chemical hazards. Here, we cover important aspects on the knowledge on COVID-19 gathered during the first six months of the pandemic and address relevant issues on human biological sample handling in the Anatomic Pathology laboratory in the context of COVID-19 global threat. In addition, we detail our strategy to minimize the risk of contamination upon exposure to the different biological products received in the laboratory, which can be of general interest to other laboratories worldwide. Our approach has enabled a safe work environment for laboratory staff, while ensuring the maintenance of high quality standards of the work performed. In times of uncertainty and given the lack of specific guidelines directed at Anatomic Pathology services to better deal with the global COVID-19 public-health emergency, it is essential to share with the community rigorous methodologies that will enable us to better cope with probable novel waves of COVID-19 infection and other viruses that will possibly arise in the near future.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Infection Control/methods , Laboratories, Hospital/standards , Pandemics , Pathology, Surgical/methods , Pneumonia, Viral , Specimen Handling/methods , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , Infection Control/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pathology Department, Hospital/standards , Pathology, Surgical/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Portugal , SARS-CoV-2 , Specimen Handling/standards
14.
Mod Pathol ; 33(11): 2115-2127, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611284

ABSTRACT

Remote digital pathology allows healthcare systems to maintain pathology operations during public health emergencies. Existing Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments regulations require pathologists to electronically verify patient reports from a certified facility. During the 2019 pandemic of COVID-19 disease, caused by the SAR-CoV-2 virus, this requirement potentially exposes pathologists, their colleagues, and household members to the risk of becoming infected. Relaxation of government enforcement of this regulation allows pathologists to review and report pathology specimens from a remote, non-CLIA certified facility. The availability of digital pathology systems can facilitate remote microscopic diagnosis, although formal comprehensive (case-based) validation of remote digital diagnosis has not been reported. All glass slides representing routine clinical signout workload in surgical pathology subspecialties at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center were scanned on an Aperio GT450 at ×40 equivalent resolution (0.26 µm/pixel). Twelve pathologists from nine surgical pathology subspecialties remotely reviewed and reported complete pathology cases using a digital pathology system from a non-CLIA certified facility through a secure connection. Whole slide images were integrated to and launched within the laboratory information system to a custom vendor-agnostic, whole slide image viewer. Remote signouts utilized consumer-grade computers and monitors (monitor size, 13.3-42 in.; resolution, 1280 × 800-3840 × 2160 pixels) connecting to an institution clinical workstation via secure virtual private network. Pathologists subsequently reviewed all corresponding glass slides using a light microscope within the CLIA-certified department. Intraobserver concordance metrics included reporting elements of top-line diagnosis, margin status, lymphovascular and/or perineural invasion, pathology stage, and ancillary testing. The median whole slide image file size was 1.3 GB; scan time/slide averaged 90 s; and scanned tissue area averaged 612 mm2. Signout sessions included a total of 108 cases, comprised of 254 individual parts and 1196 slides. Major diagnostic equivalency was 100% between digital and glass slide diagnoses; and overall concordance was 98.8% (251/254). This study reports validation of primary diagnostic review and reporting of complete pathology cases from a remote site during a public health emergency. Our experience shows high (100%) intraobserver digital to glass slide major diagnostic concordance when reporting from a remote site. This randomized, prospective study successfully validated remote use of a digital pathology system including operational feasibility supporting remote review and reporting of pathology specimens, and evaluation of remote access performance and usability for remote signout.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pathology, Surgical , Pneumonia, Viral , Telepathology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Image Processing, Computer-Assisted/methods , Pathology, Surgical/instrumentation , Pathology, Surgical/methods , Pathology, Surgical/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2 , Telepathology/instrumentation , Telepathology/methods , Telepathology/organization & administration , Workflow
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