Digital pathology allows networks of "remote" specialist pathologists to report the findings of preimplantation kidney biopsies. We sought to validate the assessment of preimplantation kidney transplant biopsies for diagnostic purposes using whole-slide images according to the recommendations of the College of American Pathologists. Sixty-two consecutive, previously reported, preimplantation kidney biopsies were scanned using the ScanScope Digital Slide Scanner at 0.5 μm/pixel (20× objective). The slides were assessed for percent glomerulosclerosis, tubular atrophy, interstitial fibrosis and vascular narrowing using the Remuzzi criteria by two pathologists, one using glass slides and the other using the whole-slide images viewed on a widescreen computer monitor. After a 2-week washout period, all of the slides were re-assessed by the same pathologists using the opposite mode of reporting to that used in the first evaluation. Very high glass-digital intraobserver concordance was achieved for the overall score and for individual grades by both pathologists (κ range, 0.841-0.973). The overall scores obtained by both pathologists and using both methods were identical. The times needed to assess the biopsies were 14 minutes when using a light microscope and 18 minutes, including scanning time, which averaged 2 minutes 20 seconds per slide, when using digital microscopy. Digital microscopy is a reliable, fast, and safe method for the assessment of preimplantation kidney biopsies.
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