Since neuropathologic diagnosis in the developing world is hampered by limitations in technical infrastructure, trained laboratory personnel, and subspecialty-trained pathologists, the use of telepathology for diagnostic support, second-opinion consultations, and ongoing training holds promise as a means of addressing these challenges. This study aims to assess the utility of static teleneuropathology in improving neuropathologic diagnoses in low- and middle-income countries.
Consecutive neurosurgical biopsy and resection specimens obtained at Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, were selected for retrospective, blinded static-image neuropathologic review followed by on-site review by an expert neuropathologist.
A total of 75 neuropathologic cases were reviewed. The agreement of static images and on-site glass diagnosis was 71% with strict criteria and 88% with less stringent criteria. This represents an overall improvement in diagnostic accuracy from 36% by general pathologists to 71% by a neuropathologist using static telepathology (or from 76% to 88% with less stringent criteria).
Telepathology offers a promising means of providing diagnostic support, second-opinion consultations, and ongoing training to pathologists practicing in resource-limited countries. Moreover, static digital teleneuropathology is an uncomplicated, cost-effective, and reliable way to achieve these goals.
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