The Hospital Pathology Laboratory operates around the clock to support clinics and physicians in the study of human organs, tissues or cells during the diagnostic investigation of virtually all diseases besides tumours.
The Laboratory is staffed by pathologists with over 20 years of experience and its Scientific Director is a University Professor.
The Lab’s state-of-the-art equipment has all certification required.
External quality control of specialised methods are undertaken by the same quality control centre that examines United Kingdom laboratories (UKNEQAS).
The Diagnostic Protocols and result-recording standards applied are those defined by the College of American Pathologists.
Turnaround time for various examinations is that required by International Protocols for accreditation.
Finally, the Laboratory stands out for maintaining an operational diagnostic material archive since its establishment. The availability of such records is important mainly because it makes it possible to perform additional pharmaceutical compatibility tests even years after an initial tumour diagnosis.
The material studied by pathologists –mainly– concerns biopsies, operations, aspired samples, biological fluids and autopsies.
The primary and principal diagnostic tool is the microscopic examination of materials on haematoxylin and eosin sections and the evaluation of findings, which is exclusively based on the knowledge and experience of pathologists.
This method is complemented and increasingly assisted by numerous new specialised diagnostic techniques such as immunohistochemistry, histochemistry, enzyme assays, genetic methods or molecular biology methods.
In accordance with modern diagnostic practices, a wide range of combinations of the applications described above are often required.
The Hospital Pathology Laboratory can conduct the most frequently used of these methods.
An important process in the daily pathology practice is the so-called frozen section examination or intra-operative pathology consultation, as it officially known. This is conducted during surgery and can provide an immediate diagnostic pointer; it is applied when the biopsy result is expected to modify the surgical procedure (e.g. whether or not the surgeon will remove the axillary lymph nodes in a case of breast cancer).
Naturally, such a procedure requires the highest possible level of experience and awareness on the part of the pathologist as regards the material being examined.
The significance of pathology examinations
Pathology examination findings
- Determine whether insurance compensation is to be paid out.
- Determine or confirm the diagnosis of various illnesses
- Determine or modify a patient’s treatment (e.g. HER2 testing to decide whether or not to administer Herceptin in a breast cancer case)
- Monitor the effect of treatment