Documentation of surgical specimens using digital video technology

Hector Melin-Aldana*, Barbara Carter, Debra Sciortino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Context. - Digital technology is commonly used for documentation of specimens in anatomic pathology and has been mainly limited to still photographs. Technologic innovations, such as digital video, provide additional, in some cases better, options for documentation. Objective. - To demonstrate the applicability of digital video to the documentation of surgical specimens. Design. - A Canon Elura MC40 digital camcorder was used, and the unedited movies were transferred to a Macintosh PowerBook G4 computer. Both the camcorder and specimens were hand-held during filming. The movies were edited using the software iMovie. Annotations and histologic photographs may be easily incorporated into movies when editing, if desired. Results. - The finished movies are best viewed in computers which contain the free program QuickTime Player. Movies may also be incorporated onto DVDs, for viewing in standard DVD players or appropriately equipped computers. The final movies are on average 2 minutes in duration, with a file size between 2 and 400 megabytes, depending on the intended use. Because of file size, distribution is more practical via CD or DVD, but movies may be compressed for distribution through the Internet (e-mail, Web sites) or through internal hospital networks. Conclusions. - Digital video is a practical, easy, and affordable methodology for specimen documentation, permitting a better 3-dimensional understanding of the specimens. Discussions with colleagues, student education, presentation at conferences, and other educational activities can be enhanced with the implementation of digital video technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1335-1338
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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