Neurospine Hospital & Revive Critical Care

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Pathology

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WHAT IS PATHOLOGY?

Pathology is the study of disease. It is the bridge between science and medicine. It underpins every aspect of patient care, from diagnostic testing and treatment advice to using cutting-edge genetic technologies and preventing disease. Pathology is a branch of medical science that involves the study and diagnosis of disease through the examination of surgically removed organs, tissues (biopsy samples), bodily fluids, and in some cases the whole body (autopsy). Aspects of a bodily specimen that may be considered include its gross anatomical make up, appearance of the cells using immunological markers and chemical signatures in the cells.

WHO WORKS IN PATHOLOGY?

There are teams of medical staff and scientists whose job it is to study samples from a person’s body to understand what’s making them unwell.

  • If your blood doesn’t clot properly – it’s a haematologist who will conduct the blood tests, confirm if you have haemophilia, and offer treatment.
  • When there’s an outbreak of infection in a hospital  for example MRSA, it’s a medical microbiologist or infection doctor who will advise the infection control teams and work hard to contain it.
  • For those having trouble getting pregnant – it’s a reproductive scientist who will investigate, diagnose and, where possible, treat any infertility issues.

Surgical pathology

Surgical Pathology is the most significant and time consuming branch of pathology with a primary focus on examining tissues with the naked eye or under a microscope for definitive diagnosis of disease. Surgically removed specimens are received from sources such as small biopsies of skin, core biopsies for the diagnosis of cancer, and the operating room where tumours are removed. Surgical pathology involves macroscopic (gross) and microscopic (histologic) tissue analysis where the molecular properties of tissue samples are assessed by immunohistochemistry or other laboratory tests.

Molecular pathology

Molecular Pathology is a relatively recent discipline that has achieved remarkable progress over the past decade. It emphasizes the study and diagnosis of disease through the examination of molecules within organs, tissues or bodily fluids.  Many diseases such as cancer are caused by mutations or alterations in the genetic code of a person, and identification of specific hallmark mutations allows clinicians to classify a disease and choose the appropriate treatment.

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