Development of a database system and image viewer to assist in the correlation of histopathologic features and digital image analysis with clinical and molecular genetic information

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Pathologists are required to integrate data from multiple sources when making a diagnosis. Furthermore, whole slide imaging (WSI) and next generation sequencing will escalate data size and complexity. Development of well-designed databases that can allow efficient navigation between multiple data types is necessary for both clinical and research purposes. We developed and evaluated an interactive, web-based database that integrates clinical, histologic, immunohistochemical and genetic information to aid in pathologic diagnosis and interpretation with nine lung adenocarcinoma cases. To minimize sectioning artifacts, representative blocks were serially sectioned using automated tissue sectioning (Kurabo Industries, Osaka Japan) and selected slides were stained by multiple techniques, (hematoxylin and eosin [H&E], immunohistochemistry [IHC] or fluorescence in situ hybridization [FISH]). Slides were digitized by WSI scanners. An interactive relational database was designed based on a list of proposed fields covering a variety of clinical, pathologic and molecular parameters. By focusing on the three main tasks of 1.) efficient management of textual information, 2.) effective viewing of all varieties of stained whole slide images (WSI), and 3.) assistance in evaluating WSI with computer-aided diagnosis, this database prototype shows great promise for multi-modality research and diagnosis.

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