Breast carcinoma detection in ex vivo fresh human breast surgical specimens using a fast slide-free confocal microscopy scanner: HIBISCUSS project

Angelica Conversano, Muriel Abbaci, Paul van Diest, Aurélie Roulot, Giuseppe Falco, Malek Ferchiou, Saverio Coiro, Milan Richir, Pierre-Michel Genolet, Carine Clement, Odile Casiraghi, Aicha Ben Lahkdar, Nizard Labaied, Moira Ragazzi, Marie-Christine Mathieu

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Background: New generation ultra-fast fluorescence confocal microscopy allows the ex vivo intraoperative analysis of fresh tissue. The High resolution Imaging for Breast carcInoma detection in ex vivo Specimens after breast Conserving sUrgery by hiStolog Scanner (HIBISCUSS) project aimed to develop an online learning program to recognize the main breast tissue features on ultra-fast fluorescence confocal microscopy images and to evaluate the performance of surgeons and pathologists in diagnosing cancerous and non-cancerous breast tissue in ultra-fast fluorescence confocal microscopy images. Methods: Patients who underwent conservative surgery or mastectomy for breast carcinoma (invasive or in situ lesions) were included. The fresh specimens were stained with a fluorescent dye and imaged using a large field-of-view (20 cm2) ultra-fast fluorescence confocal microscope. Results: One hundred and eighty-one patients were included. The images from 55 patients were annotated to generate learning sheets and images from 126 patients were blindly interpreted by seven surgeons and two pathologists. The time for tissue processing and ultra-fast fluorescence confocal microscopy imaging was between 8 and 10 min. The training program was composed of 110 images divided into nine learning sessions. The final database for blind performance assessment comprised 300 images. The mean duration for one training session and one performance round was 17 and 27 min respectively. The performance of pathologists was almost perfect with 99.6 per cent (standard deviation (s.d.) 5.4 per cent) accuracy. Surgeons’ accuracy significantly increased (P = 0.001) from 83 per cent (s.d. 8.4 per cent) in round 1 to 98 per cent (s.d. 4.1 per cent) in round 7 as well as the sensitivity (P = 0.004). Specificity increased without significance from 84 per cent (s.d. 16.7 per cent) in round 1 to 87 per cent (s.d. 16.4 per cent) in round 7 (P = 0.060). Conclusion: Pathologists and surgeons showed a short learning curve in differentiating breast cancer from non-cancerous tissue in ultra-fast fluorescence confocal microscopy images. Performance assessment for both specialties supports ultra-fast fluorescence confocal microscopy evaluation for intraoperative management.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberzrad046
JournalBJS Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

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