Anatomical Pathology

Anatomic pathology is a medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis of disease based on the macroscopic, microscopic, biochemical, immunologic and molecular examination of organs and tissues. There are two main subdivisions within anatomic pathology.

Histopathology, involves examination of intact tissue, biopsies or resections. This is often aided by the use of special staining techniques and other associated tests, such as using antibodies to identify different components of the tissue.

Cytopathology (cytology), is the examination of single cells or small groups of cells. A common cytology test is the Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy (FNA). The FNA is relatively painless, fast, and inexpensive.  This method is applicable to palpable lesions, such as lesions to the breast, thyroid, lymph nodes, as well as, pediatric lesions.  A diagnosis is usually rendered within minutes rather than days.  This service can be provided in our laboratory or at another location by special request. Another common cytology test is the cervical Pap smear.

Anatomic pathology specimens are processed by histology technicians and technologists. The sample is examined under a microscope by a pathologist. The pathologist gives the interpretation to the health practitioner, who will then treat the patient.

The anatomic pathology lab at The Pathology Laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists. In addition to general anatomic and clinical pathology, our board certified Pathologists also have subspecialty training in dermatopathology, hematopathology, cytopathology, and gastrointestinal and liver pathology. Our technical staff consists of Pathologist Assistants, certified Histotechnologists, Histotechnitions and Laboratory Assistants.