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General Pathology Terminology

For your basic understanding of pathology, here is a list of terms that are associated with pathology services. For terms that are not on this list, please use the link below.
http://www.onelook.com or http://www.onelook.com.thefreedictionary.com.

And for basic information about pathology and biopsies, see the mybiopsy.org website at www.cap.org/apps/docs/reference/myBiopsy/index2.html.

 


Anatomic Pathology:
the subspecialty of pathology that pertains to the gross and microscopic study of organs and tissues removed for biopsy or during postmortem examination, and also the interpretation of the results of such study.

Benign: Of no danger to health, especially relating to a tumorous growth; not malignant.

Biopsy: the removal and examination of tissue, cells, or fluids from the living body

Carcinoma: a malignant new growth made up of epithelial cells tending to infiltrate surrounding tissues and to give rise to metastases.

Clinical Pathology: the subspecialty in pathology concerned with the theoretical and technical aspects (i.e., the methods or procedures) of chemistry, immunohematology, microbiology, parasitology, immunology, hematology, and other fields as they pertain to the diagnosis of disease and the care of patients, as well as to the prevention of disease.

Core Biopsy: a biopsy in which a cylindrical sample of tissue is obtained (as from a kidney or breast) by a hollow needle.

Cytology: a branch of biology dealing with the structure, function, multiplication, pathology, and life history of cells.

Cytotechnologist: a medical technologist trained in cytotechnology.

Cytotechnology: a specialty in medical technology concerned with the identification of cells and cellular abnormalities (as in cancer).

Dermatology: the branch of medicine that deals with the skin and diseases affecting the skin

Dermatopathology: microscopic anatomic pathology of the skin.

Fine Needle Aspiration: the process of obtaining a sample of cells and bits of tissue for examination by applying suction through a fine needle attached to a syringe -- abbreviation FNA.

Flow Cytometry: method of measuring fluorescence from stained cells that are in suspension and flowing through a narrow orifice, usually in combination with one or two lasers to activate the dyes; used to measure cell size, number, viability, and nucleic acid content with the aid of acridine orange, Kasten fluorescent Feulgen stain, ethidium bromide, trypan blue, and other selected staining reagents.

Frozen Section: A thin slice of tissue that is cut from a frozen specimen and is often used for rapid microscopic diagnosis.

Gastroenterologoy: the branch of medicine concerned with the study and treatment of diseases of the stomach and intestines and their associated organs. study of intestinal-tract disorders

Gross: coarse or large; visible to the naked eye, as gross pathology; macroscopic

Gynecology: The branch of medicine particularly concerned with the health of the female organs of reproduction and diseases.

Hematology-oncology: The diagnosis, treatment and prevention of blood diseases (hematology) and cancer (oncology) and research into them. Hematology-oncology includes such diseases as iron deficiency anemia, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, the thalassemias, leukemias and lymphomas.

Hematopathology: the study of blood, bone marrow and the organs and tissues that use blood cells to perform their functions.

Histochemistry: The study of intracellular distribution of chemicals, reaction sites, enzymes, etc., often by means of staining reactions, radioactive isotope uptake, selective metal distribution in electron microscopy, or other methods.

Histology: a branch of anatomy that deals with the minute structure of animal and plant tissues as discernible with the microscope

Histotechnologist: a technician who specializes in histotechnology

Histotechnology: technical histology concerned especially with preparing and processing (as by sectioning, fixing, and staining) histological specimens

Immunohistochemistry: Demonstration of specific antigens in tissues by the use of markers that are either fluorescent dyes or enzymes such as horseradish peroxidase.

Intraoperative Consultation: the name given to the whole intervention by the pathologist, which includes not only frozen section but also gross evaluation of the specimen, examination of cytology preparations taken on the specimen (e.g. touch imprints), and aliquoting of the specimen for special studies (e.g. molecular pathology techniques, flow cytometry). The report given by the pathologist is usually limited to a "benign" or "malignant" diagnosis, traditionally shouted into an intercom.

Malignant: tending to become worse and end in death or having the properties of anaplasia, invasiveness, and metastasis; said of tumors

Molecular Pathology: the study of biochemical and biophysical cellular mechanisms as the basic factors in disease.

Needle Biospy: any of several methods (as fine needle aspiration or core biopsy) for obtaining a sample of cells or tissue by inserting a hollow needle through the skin and withdrawing the sample from the tissue or organ to be examined

Pap Smear: a method or a test based on it for the early detection of cancer especially of the uterine cervix that involves staining exfoliated cells by a special technique which differentiates diseased tissue -- called also Papanicolaou smear, Papanicolaou test, Pap test

Pathologist: a doctor who identifies diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope.

Pathology: the scientific study of the nature of disease and its causes, processes, development, and consequences.

Urology: the branch of medicine that deals with the study and treatment of disorders of the urinary tract in women and the urogenital system in men.