Selective deployment of dynamic telecytology for rapid evaluation of cytology smears: assessment of workflow processes and role of cytopathology fellows as on-site operators

Venetia R. Sarode, Valerie Pena, Shirley Yan, James Kirkpatrick, Dana Wanzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: The deployment of telecytology (TC) requires a substantial investment of financial and human resources. To offset the high demand for rapid on-site evaluation, we performed a limited deployment of dynamic TC and have detailed the workflow processes and the role of trainees. Materials and methods: TC systems were installed in radiology suites with a high volume of cases. Validation was performed using retrospective and prospective cases. Cytotechnologists and cytopathology fellows were the operators of the instrument. TC malignant and benign diagnoses were correlated with the final sign-out diagnoses. Results: Of the 120 cases, 50 (41.6%) were fine needle aspirations and 70 (58.3%) were touch imprint smears of core biopsy specimens. The cytotechnologists were the operators for 34 cases (28.3%) and cytology fellows for 86 cases (71.6%). Adequacy concordance with the final diagnosis was 100% and 98.5% in the retrospective and prospective cases, respectively. In the prospective cases, concordance of TC with the final diagnosis of malignancy was 42 of 45 (93.3%), with 2 of 45 (4.4%) discordant and a downgrade rate of 2.7%. For the benign diagnoses, the concordance was 90%. For the malignant diagnoses, the sensitivity of TC was 97.67% (95% confidence interval [CI], 87.71 to 99.94%; specificity, 81.82%; 95% CI, 48.22% to 97.72%). The positive predictive value was 95.45% (95% CI, 85.69% to 98.66%), the negative predictive value was 90.00% (95% CI, 55.98% to 98.45%), and the accuracy was 94.44% (95% CI, 84.61% to 98.84%). Conclusions: TC can be deployed in a limited fashion as an option for cytopathologists to offset the high demand for rapid on-site evaluations. Trainee participation in TC service is important for building confidence and honing their cytology skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-584
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society of Cytopathology
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

Keywords

  • Adequacy assessment
  • Concordance
  • Rapid on-site evaluation
  • Telecytology
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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