Hematopathology is the branch of pathology which studies diseases of hematopoietic cells. In the United States, hematopathology is a board certified subspecialty (American Board of Pathology) practiced by those physicians who have completed general pathology residency (anatomic, clinical, or combined) and additional fellowship training in hematology.
Hematopoietic cells originate from the bone marrow and contribute the cellular components of blood including red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), and platelets (megakaryocyte-derived bodies). Additionally, leukocytes contribute significantly to the cellular composition of lymph nodes, the spleen, the thymus, and mucosa associated lymphoid tissues, and are present to some degree in all tissues. Diseases of the hematopoietic system generally manifest as decreases (anemia) or increases (lymphoma/leukemia) in these cell types. Consequently, hematopathologists most frequently evaluate peripheral blood smears, bone marrow aspirates and biopsies, and lymph node biopsies to determine the nature of hematopoietic disease. The hematopathologist incorporates traditional microscopy with ancillary techniques including general laboratory values, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and molecular diagnostic tests to make the most accurate diagnosis. The hematopathologist works closely with the hematologist/oncologist specialty doctor who sees the patient and decides on the best treatment based upon the diagnosis made by the hematopathologist.
Soft Tissue Pathology involves evaluation of diseases involving the non-bony, supporting body tissues such as muscle, fat, nerve blood vessels. Disease can be inflammatory in nature from infections or autoimmune causes. A more common reason for biopsy is the presence of a tumor, benign types of which include lipoma and leiomyoma (smooth muscle origin). Malignant tumors, known as sarcomas, include malignant fibrous histiocytoma, leiomyosarcoma, and angiosarcoma.
Pulmonary pathology is the subspecialty of surgical pathology which deals with the diagnosis and characterization of neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases of the lungs and thoracic pleura. Diagnostic specimens are often obtained via bronchoscopic transbronchial biopsy and/or CT-guided percutaneous biopsy. Carcinoma is the most common kind of lung cancer. In fact, when someone says they have lung cancer, they usually mean that they have a carcinoma.
Oncologic surgical pathology refers to the study of tumors, both benign and malignant, which are sent to pathology for evaluation following biopsy or resection. The classification of such tumors is undergoing constant change as new entities are described and as new information is learned about older entities. Although classification of a tumor usually begins under the microscope, other methodologies such as flow cytometry, immunohistochemical stains, and molecular factors, allow for even better classification. In addition to classification of tumors, a pathologist is able to provide other valuable information for the oncologist, surgeons, and other treating the patients, such as evaluation of margin status and the degree of differentiation of the tumor.
Neuropathology is the study of diseases of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. This includes brain and spinal cord tumors as well as postmortem examination for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Our pathologists work closely with the neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists to accurately and quickly diagnose brain tumors, often with frozen sections at the time of surgery. We have available expert consultants, personally known to us, to verify rare tumors. Adjunct molecular and other special testing is available either in house or through referral laboratories to ensure complete and up to date analysis of all types of neurologic disorders and tumors.
Pathology Associates provides comprehensive surgical pathology services for diagnosis of benign and malignant lesions of the head and neck, including intraoperative consultation and evaluation of biopsy and resection specimens. Diagnosis is assisted by a range of special stains and immunohistochemical studies performed in our laboratory, including markers for a variety of tumor types and infectious diseases. Pathologists with expertise in cytopathology also perform and interpret fine needle aspiration biopsies of head and neck lesions, with experience in both aspirates of palpable lesions and ultrasound-guided aspiration.