#EBUSTwitter: Novel use of social media for conception, coordination, and completion of an international, multicenter pathology study

Marcos Lepe, Pembe Oltulu, Mariana Canepa, Roseann I. Wu, Amy Deeken, Deepu Alex, Carme Dinares, Erika E. Doxtader, Valerie A. Fitzhugh, Jean Baptiste Gibier, Deepali Jain, Nafiseh Janaki, Alexis Jelinek, Tania Labiano, Vincenzo L'Imperio, Claire Michael, Sanjay Mukhopadhyay, Fabio Pagni, Angel Panizo, Lara PijuanLiza M. Quintana, Sinchita Roy-Chowdhuri, Albert Sanchez-Font, Irene Sansano, Jennifer Sauter, Daniel Skipper, Laura S. Spruill, Vanda Torous, Jerad Michael Gardner, Xiaoyin Sara Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Context.-Social media sites are increasingly used for education, networking, and rapid dissemination of medical information, but their utility for facilitating research has remained largely untapped. Objective.-To describe in detail our experience using a social media platform (Twitter) for the successful initiation, coordination, and completion of an international, multi-institution pathology research study. Design.-Following a tweet describing a hitherto-unreported biopsy-related histologic finding in a mediastinal lymph node following endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration, a tweet was posted to invite pathologists to participate in a validation study. Twitter's direct messaging feature was used to create a group to facilitate communication among participating pathologists. Contributing pathologists reviewed consecutive cases of mediastinal lymph node resection following endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration and examined them specifically for biopsy site changes. Data spreadsheets containing deidentified data and digital photomicrographs of suspected biopsy site changes were submitted via an online file hosting service for central review by 5 pathologists from different institutions. Results.-A total of 24 pathologists from 14 institutions in 5 countries participated in the study within 143 days of study conception, and a total of 297 cases were collected and analyzed. The time interval between study conception and acceptance of the manuscript for publication was 346 days. Conclusions.-To our knowledge, this is the first time that a social media platform has been used to generate a research idea based on a tweet, recruit coinvestigators publicly, communicate with collaborating pathologists, and successfully complete a pathology study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)878-882
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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