Computer-assisted pathological immunohistochemistry scoring is more time-effective than conventional scoring, but provides no analytical advantage

Authors


Dr M Salto-Tellez, Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, National University Hospital & Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119074. e-mail: patmst@nus.edu.sg

Abstract

Ong C W, Kim L G, Kong H H, Low L Y, Wang T T, Supriya S, Kathiresan M, Soong R & Salto-Tellez M
(2010) Histopathology56, 523–529

Computer-assisted pathological immunohistochemistry scoring is more time-effective than conventional scoring, but provides no analytical advantage

Aims:  Interpretation of immunohistochemistry is primarily done through human visual scoring while computer-assisted scoring is relatively uncommon. This study aimed to examine (i) the level of agreement between human visual and computer-assisted pathological scoring of immunoreactivity expression in colorectal cancers, (ii) whether computer-assisted scoring affects the prognostic significance of biomarkers, and (iii) whether computer-assisted pathological scoring provides any time-saving or reproducibility advantages.

Methods and results:  Tissue microarray blocks were constructed from the primary colorectal adenocarcinoma specimens of 486 patients. Scoring of the six markers [cytokeratin (CK) 7, CK20, cyclooxygenase-2, Ki67, p27 and p53] was done independently by a qualified pathologist, a trained scientist and the Ariol SL-50 (Applied Imaging). Univariate analysis showed that human visual and computer-assisted scoring were strongly correlated (all κ values >0.8). Both human visual and computer-assisted pathological scoring identified the same set of biomarkers with significant association with survival. Computer-assisted pathological scoring was shown to be a time-effective means of scoring larger numbers of slides (for high-throughput studies).

Conclusions:  Our results suggest that computer-assisted pathological scoring can be a viable alternative to pathologist scoring in a manner that is more practical and time-effective, but, interestingly, providing no analytical advantage.

Ancillary