Article: article from journal or magazin.
A web-based pilot study of inter-pathologist reproducibility using the ISHLT 2004 working formulation for biopsy diagnosis of cardiac allograft rejection: The European experience.
Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation : the Official Publication of the International Society For Heart Transplantation
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess, at the European level and using digital technology, the inter-pathologist reproducibility of the ISHLT 2004 system and to compare it with the 1990 system We also assessed the reproducibility of the morphologic criteria for diagnosis of antibody-mediated rejection detailed in the 2004 grading system. METHODS: The hematoxylin-eosin-stained sections of 20 sets of endomyocardial biopsies were pre-selected and graded by two pathologists (A.A. and M.B.) and digitized using a telepathology digital pathology system (Aperio ImageScope System; for details refer to http://aperio.com/). Their diagnoses were considered the index diagnoses, which covered all grades of acute cellular rejection (ACR), early ischemic lesions, Quilty lesions, late ischemic lesions and (in the 2005 system) antibody-mediated rejection (AMR). Eighteen pathologists from 16 heart transplant centers in 7 European countries participated in the study. Inter-observer reproducibility was assessed using Fleiss's kappa and Krippendorff's alpha statistics. RESULTS: The combined kappa value of all grades diagnosed by all 18 pathologists was 0.31 for the 1990 grading system and 0.39 for the 2005 grading system, with alpha statistics at 0.57 and 0.55, respectively. Kappa values by grade for 1990/2005, respectively, were: 0 = 0.52/0.51; 1A/1R = 0.24/0.36; 1B = 0.15; 2 = 0.13; 3A/2R = 0.29/0.29; 3B/3R = 0.13/0.23; and 4 = 0.18. For the 2 cases of AMR, 6 of 18 pathologists correctly suspected AMR on the hematoxylin-eosin slides, whereas, in each of 17 of the 18 AMR-negative cases a small percentage of pathologists (range 5% to 33%) overinterpreted the findings as suggestive for AMR. CONCLUSIONS: Reproducibility studies of cardiac biopsies by pathologists in different centers at the international level were feasible using digitized slides rather than conventional histology glass slides. There was a small improvement in interobserver agreement between pathologists of different European centers when moving from the 1990 ISHLT classification to the "new" 2005 ISHLT classification. Morphologic suspicion of AMR in the 2004 system on hematoxylin-eosin-stained slides only was poor, highlighting the need for better standardization of morphologic criteria for AMR. Ongoing educational programs are needed to ensure standardization of diagnosis of both acute cellular and antibody-mediated rejection.
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