Anatomic Pathology

Anatomic Pathology

Anatomic pathology encompasses the diagnostic examination of organs and tissues by a variety of macroscopic, microscopic, and biochemical means. 

Subdisciplines include Cytopathology (examination of suspensions of cells exfoliated from tissue surfaces or aspirated from tissues using a fine needle), Surgical Pathology (examination of solid tissue specimens obtained by biopsy or surgical excision), and Autopsy Pathology (post-mortem examination of the entire body).  The Department of Pathology at DUMC, our Community Practice, and the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service at the Durham VA Medical Center all have active Cytopathology and Surgical Pathology services; DUMC and the Durham VA also maintain robust Autopsy Pathology services.  For more details, please consult the links to the right.

Anatomic pathology diagnosis is facilitated by a wide range of specialty examinations, including analysis for foreign materials such as asbestos, microscopic examination of the fine structure of chromosomes (Cytogenetics), viewing of cells and tissues at very high magnification (Electron Microscopy), high-throughput analysis of single-cell suspensions using laser optical systems (Flow Cytometry), localization of specific molecules within tissues using antibody and molecular probes (Immunopathology and Image Cytometry), and analysis of DNA and RNA sequences extracted from tissues (Molecular Diagnostics).  A description of each of the laboratories performing these studies is provided under the Specialty Laboratories link.

Although our primary mission is to provide the services described above to patients served directly by DUMC, the Duke Community Practice, and the Durham VAMC, they are also available via consultation to practitioners and patients outside our systems. For more information, please follow the Consultations link.