This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the 10th European Congress on Telepathology and 4th International Congress on Virtual Microscopy

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Recent advances in standards for collaborative Digital Anatomic Pathology

Christel Daniel1*, François Macary2, Marcial García Rojo3, Jacques Klossa4, Arvydas Laurinavičius5, Bruce A Beckwith6 and Vincenzo Della Mea7

Author affiliations

1 ADICAP - INSERM, UMR_S 872 eq20 Paris, F-75006, France

2 ASIP Santé, 9 rue Georges Pitard – 75015 Paris, France

3 Hospital General de Ciudad Real, Department of Pathology, 13005 Ciudad Real, Spain

4 Tribvn, 39 rue Louveau 92320 Châtillon, France

5 National Center of Pathology and Vilnius University, P. Baublio 5, Vilnius, Lithuania

6 North Shore Medical Center, Department of Pathology, 81 Highland Ave. Salem, MA 01970, USA

7 University of Udine, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, via delle Scienze 206 33100 Udine, Italy

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2011, 6(Suppl 1):S17  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-6-S1-S17

Published: 30 March 2011



Collaborative Digital Anatomic Pathology refers to the use of information technology that supports the creation and sharing or exchange of information, including data and images, during the complex workflow performed in an Anatomic Pathology department from specimen reception to report transmission and exploitation. Collaborative Digital Anatomic Pathology can only be fully achieved using medical informatics standards. The goal of the international integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) initiative is precisely specifying how medical informatics standards should be implemented to meet specific health care needs and making systems integration more efficient and less expensive.


To define the best use of medical informatics standards in order to share and exchange machine-readable structured reports and their evidences (including whole slide images) within hospitals and across healthcare facilities.


Specific working groups dedicated to Anatomy Pathology within multiple standards organizations defined standard-based data structures for Anatomic Pathology reports and images as well as informatic transactions in order to integrate Anatomic Pathology information into the electronic healthcare enterprise.


The DICOM supplements 122 and 145 provide flexible object information definitions dedicated respectively to specimen description and Whole Slide Image acquisition, storage and display. The content profile “Anatomic Pathology Structured Report” (APSR) provides standard templates for structured reports in which textual observations may be bound to digital images or regions of interest. Anatomic Pathology observations are encoded using an international controlled vocabulary defined by the IHE Anatomic Pathology domain that is currently being mapped to SNOMED CT concepts.


Recent advances in standards for Collaborative Digital Anatomic Pathology are a unique opportunity to share or exchange Anatomic Pathology structured reports that are interoperable at an international level. The use of machine-readable format of APSR supports the development of decision support as well as secondary use of Anatomic Pathology information for epidemiology or clinical research.