To the Editor

I read with interest the recent article by Hwang et al1  entitled “Pulmonary Large Cell Carcinoma Lacking Squamous Differentiation Is Clinicopathologically Indistinguishable From Solid-Subtype Adenocarcinoma” and your accompanying editorial with Dr Glassy in the same issue on the use of whole slide images in journal articles.2 

There is no doubt this is an excellent use of digital pathology technologies illustrating a journal article, beyond the traditional use of static imaging alone, showcasing a simple yet effective way to further educate and inform pathologists.

Although many advances have come to publishing in recent years, with multiple formats and applications for both submission and viewing with desktop and mobile viewing, this may represent the single most important upgrade for pathology journals. As readers, we can now appreciate more than a snapshot to support findings or conclusions and be more directly involved in the approach to the lesions described that support or refute contributors' results and conclusions.

Many of us can still recall the necessity of returning glass slides mailed months previously at the time of a meeting in order to obtain a course syllabus and perhaps a set of Kodachrome slides, perhaps even risking not being able to obtain CME (continuing medical education) credit without return of the glass slides.

Digital pathology technologies, such as those used in the Hwang et al article, highlight the value of whole slide images and their value to the pathology community. Continued advances in scanning, storage, and viewing, along with advances in how textual information is delivered and viewed, will only continue to enhance the value of whole slide images compared with representative figures.

Thank you to the College of American Pathologists and the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine for your thought, vision, and leadership in this effort.

1
Hwang
DH
,
Szeto
DP
,
Perry
AS
,
Bruce
JL
,
Sholl
LM
.
Pulmonary large cell carcinoma lacking squamous differentiation is clinicopathologically indistinguishable from solid-subtype adenocarcinoma
.
Arch Pathol Lab Med
.
2014
;
138
(
5
):
626
635
.
2
Cagle
PT
,
Glassy
EF
.
Whole slide images add value to journal article figures
.
Arch Pathol Lab Med
.
2014
;
138
(
5
):
592
.