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Pathology

Pathology

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Human Pathology

DEFINITION

The word ‘Pathology’ is derived from two Greek words:

Pathos- meaning suffering, and logos - meaning study.

Pathology is the branch of science that deals with scientific study of structure and function of the body in disease through laboratory examinations of samples of blood ,body fluids, tissues (biopsy samples), surgically removed organs, and in some cases the whole body (autopsy), for diagnostic or forensic purposes.

Pathologists are often called 'Doctor's Doctor'. Medical practitioners who are pathologists have expertise in illness and disease. This expertise is extremely helpful in all aspects of healthcare, from helping doctors in diagnosing and treating common diseases, to using pioneering technologies to treat patients with critical health conditions.

Branches of Pathology:

Human pathology is the largest branch of pathology.

It is conventionally divided into

1. General Pathology dealing with general principles of disease

2. Systemic Pathology that includes study of diseases pertaining to the specific organs and body systems.

Subdivisions of Pathology.

A. HISTOPATHOLOGY

Histopathology, used synonymously with anatomic pathology, pathologic anatomy, or morbid anatomy . The study includes structural changes observed by naked eye examination referred to as gross or macroscopic changes,and the changes detected by light and electron microscopy supported by numerous special staining methods including histochemical and immunological techniques to arrive at the most accurate diagnosis.

Anatomic pathology includes the following 3 main subdivisions:

1.Surgical pathology. It deals with the study of tissues removed from the living body.

2.Forensic pathology and autopsy work.This includes the study of organs and tissues removed at postmortem for medicolegal work and for determining the underlying sequence and cause of death.

3.Cytopathology. It includes study of cells shedoff from the lesions (exfoliative cytology) and fine-needleaspiration cytology (FNAC) of superficial and deep-seated lesions for diagnosis

Modern anatomic pathology includes super-specialities such as,

  • cardiacpathology
  • pulmonary pathology
  • neuropathology
  • renalpathology
  • gynaecologic pathology
  • breast pathology
  • dermatopathology
  • gastrointestinal pathology
  • oralpathology, and so on.

B. HAEMATOLOGY.Haematology deals with the diseases of blood. It includes laboratory haematology and clinical haematology; the latter covers the management of patientas well.

C. CHEMICAL PATHOLOGY.Analysis of biochemical constituents of blood, urine, semen, CSF and other bodyfluids is included in this branch of pathology.

D. IMMUNOLOGY.Detection of abnormalities in the immune system of the body comprises immunology and immunopathology.

E. EXPERIMENTAL PATHOLOGY.This is defined as production of disease in the experimental animal and its study. However, all the findings of experimental work in animals may not be applicable to human beings due to species differences.

F. GEOGRAPHIC PATHOLOGY.The study of differences in distribution of frequency and type of diseases in populations in different parts of the world forms geographic pathology.

G. MEDICAL GENETICS.This is the branch of human genetics that deals with the relationship between heredity and disease. There have been important developments in the field of medical genetics e.g. in blood groups, inbornerrors of metabolism, chromosomal aberrations incongenital malformations and neoplasms etc.

H. MOLECULAR PATHOLOGY.The detection and diagnosis of abnormalities at the level of DNA of the cell is included in molecular pathology. Recent advancements in molecular biologic techniques have resulted in availability of these methods not only for research purposes but also as a tool in diagnostic pathology

Routine testes done in laboratory:

Blood tests:

It is the most common pathological test which a doctor prescribes to detect any abnormalities or illness. Your doctor might also recommend you to do blood tests annually to monitor your health. Here are a few common blood tests -

Complete Blood Count (CBC) - A CBC test determines if there are any increase or decrease in your red blood cells, white blood cells, haemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelet counts.

Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) Test - It helps to check for inflammation. It is usually performed along with other tests, as it doesn't indicate where the inflammation is or what is causing the inflammation.

Blood Grouping- Determines the blood group type of a person.

Basic Metabolic Panel - A basic metabolic panel is a combination of tests that helps doctors determine and assess important bodily functions. It comprises tests for BUN (blood urea nitrogen), creatinine, glucose, albumin, CO2 (carbon dioxide or bicarbonate), calcium, sodium, potassium, and chloride in the body. This test helps to diagnose conditions like kidney problems, lung problems, chronic pancreatic or insulin metabolism

Lipid Profile - It determines various levels of cholesterol and other fats in the blood. This test is recommended for people above 40 years of age who have high blood pressure or diabetes to monitor the cholesterol level to avoid conditions like heart disease.

Thyroid Panel - Thyroid function tests are a series of blood tests the functioning of the thyroid gland. This test includes the T3,T4,TSH,FT3,FT4 and Anti-TPO tests.

Blood Glucose Test - Commonly known as blood sugar tests, this test is used to monitor diabetes. Blood sugar levels are tested in two conditions, fasting or post eating food.

Calcium Blood Test - Calcium strengthens the bones. Calcium is also a crucial component for the proper functioning of the body muscles, nerves, and heart. Calcium blood tests help determine kidney disease, kidney stones, bone disease, thyroid disease, intestinal diseases, some types of cancer, and poor nutrition.

Liver Function Tests - Liver function tests (also called LFTs) are blood tests that comprise various tests to diagnose how your liver is working. A pathologist tests the levels of enzymes and proteins that are either produced by liver cells or released into the blood when liver cells are damaged.

Cardiac Enzymes Test or Troponin Test - Troponin is a protein found in the heart muscle. It helps regulate the heart blood flow, in case of heart injury through heart attack, etc. This test helps determine any kind of abnormality in the heart.

Iron studies /Vitamin B12 or Vitamin D test - This test helps determine any kind of Iron/vitamin deficiency in the body and these types of tests can help your doctor treat your condition accordingly.

Also Urine examination and Stool examination is carried out to see any abnormalities.

Detection of many type of fever like Dengue,Malaria,Microfilaria,chikungunya,

Typhoid etc is also done.

Detection of HIV,Various type of Hepatitis like A,B,C,E,Syphilis and other Special tests are done as per requirement.

Why Narayana Health?

Narayana Health hospitals have one of the best pathology labs in India. The department offers timely and accurate histopathology and cytopathology services to various clinical specialities. Annually we receive large numbers of histology specimens, cytology specimens, and cervical smears. We report on tissue biopsies and resections from various sites including cancer biopsies and complex cancer resections. Neuropathology services are also provided. We also perform and report on fine needle aspirations (FNAC) from various sites. We also report on fluid cytology specimens and cervical smears. We have a fairly large panel of immunohistochemical markers to assist in diagnosis, and also to carry out therapeutic and prognostic immunohistochemical tests. Various special histochemical stains, when needed, are also carried out here.

Pathology FAQ's

What does a pathologist do?

A pathologist is a physician who studies the body’s tissues and fluids, they help your primary care doctor make a diagnosis about your current health situation along with any medical problems you may have, and use laboratory tests to monitor the health of patients with chronic conditions. They help care for the patients by providing the doctors with the appropriate information that is needed to ensure proper patient care. They also recommend steps that you can take to prevent illnesses and maintain good health. For instance, when a pathologist draws blood for your annual physical exam, they may supervise the test or perform tests to help determine your current health conditions.

How many types of pathology are there?

There are three main types of pathology- anatomical, clinical, and molecular. These subtypes can be broken into even more specific categories. Pathology is a vast and diverse field because so many different diseases and ways of studying diseases exist.

Anatomical Pathology is divided into way more subcategories which include-

  • Surgical pathology- is an examination of the tissues extracted during a surgery
  • Histopathology – this is an examination of cells seen under a microscope, these cells are stained by a dye so that’s it easier to observe them.
  • Cytopathology- is the study of small cell groups that shed bodily fluids

Clinical pathology consists of the following subcategories-

  • Chemical Pathology- involves chemical analysis of body fluids, through microscopy and testing
  • Hematology- is related to the study of blood
  • Immunology- is a study for of immune system disorders

Do pathologists ever consult with patients?

Pathologists are medical experts who specialize in diagnosing and managing diseases through the best pathology lab tests. Pathologists bring valuable assets to the table, but a patient may never have to visit them during their treatment. They may see a bill from a pathologist, but it’s really for producing pathology lab tests that were ordered from primary doctors.

What is a pathology test?

Pathology is a medical specialty that confirms the cause and nature of various diseases by testing and examining body tissues and fluids; this includes biopsies, pap smears, blood, and urine. Pathology tests help prevent, diagnose, and treat infections, allergies, chronic diseases, cancers, along with many other medical conditions.

Do all pathologists perform autopsies?

Autopsies are performed by pathologists, they are physicians who have received special training in diagnosing diseases based on a thorough examination of various tissues and organs. In many cases, autopsies are performed by pathologists who are on the staff of the hospital where the deceased patient received health care.

How long does it take to receive a pathology report?

Depends on the test request by doctor, for few blood tests report will be available with 1 or 2 hours.For Biopsy specimen it may require 3 to 4 days. For Any special investigations like molecular testing it may require few days to 3 weeks. Patients can ask their doctors for a copy of their results and have the primary doctor explain it to them.