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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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Study of parameters in focus simulation functions of virtual slide

Ichiro Mori*, Takashi Ozaki, Emiko Taniguchi and Kennichi Kakudo

Author Affiliations

Department of Human Pathology, Wakayama Medical University 811-1,Kimiidera,Wakayama City,Wakayama 641-8509, Japan

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Diagnostic Pathology 2011, 6(Suppl 1):S24  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-6-S1-S24

Published: 30 March 2011


As a special function of Virtual Slide (VS) for thick specimens like cytology slides, multilayer (Z-stack) simulated focus and focus fusion were introduced. From the standpoint of surgical pathologist, the optimum parameters for multilayer focus simulation were examined. First, minimal thickness of the layer was checked by measuring thickness of small cells counting the number of the layers that come into focus. Then the optimal number of layers to scan, total thickness, was tried. Small-sized cell nuclei showed around 2μm or less thickness. As minimal thickness of one layer for focus simulation, less than 2 μm is required. Papillary cell mass of urothelial carcinoma, aspiration cytology specimen of breast or thyroid, and uterine cervical smear showed different optimal thickness. Cells piling up more than 4 to 5 layer are difficult to make close up observation. Total 15 (to 30) μm thick scan was enough for most specimens. The “focus fusion” image is single layer image synthesized from multiple layer images. Several layer thicknesses were examined, and there was negligible difference between the focus fusion image synthesized from 0.25 and 1μm thick layers. In the focus fusion image synthesized from 3μm thick layers, some cells not to come into focus. The “focus fusion” seems to contain all the cells in one plane, and easy for screening. To emphasize the existence of myoepithelial cells in fibroadenoma of breast, or to clarify the 3-dimensional tissue structure, multilayer image was better. From our results, 10 layers with 1.5μm thick each provide sufficient information in most specimens.