Improved access to histopathology using a digital system could increase the organ donor pool and improve allocation

Desley A H Neil, Ian S D Roberts, Christopher Bellamy, Stephen J Wigmore, James M Neuberger

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


Improvements in digital slide scanners have reached a stage that digital whole slide images (WSIs) can be used for diagnostic purposes. A digital system for histopathology, analogous to the systems used in radiology, would allow the establishment of networks of subspecialist histopathologists to provide a regional, national or even international rota to support out of hours histopathology for emergency frozen sections, urgent paraffin sections and to generally improve efficiencies with the provision of histopathology services. Such a system would promote appropriate organ utilization by allowing rapid characterization of unexpected lesions in the donor to determine whether donation should occur and further characterization of the organ, such as the degree of fibrosis in the kidney or steatosis in the liver, to determine whether the organ should be used. If introduced across Europe, this would promote safe and effective exchange of organs and support a cost efficient use of pathologist expertise. This review article outlines current issues with the provision of an urgent out of hours histopathology service and focuses on how such a service has the potential to increase organ donors, improve allocation, sharing and the use of available donor organs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-764
Number of pages6
JournalTransplant international
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2014


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