What is pathological anatomy?

Pathological anatomy is the science that studies the pathophysiological and morphological alterations of the disease. It studies the disease at an organic, tissue, cellular, subcellular, and molecular level. It is divided into:

  • General Pathological Anatomy: Study principles common to groups of diseases, which allow the development of a doctrine of more or less universal validity.
  • Special Pathological Anatomy or Surgical Pathology: Study the pathophysiological and morphological bases of each particular disease.

What are the main procedures performed in pathological anatomy?

  • Histopathology: It is the microscopic examination of a sample using histological techniques. Stains provide a specific diagnosis based on morphology and is the core skill of histology.
  • Immunohistochemistry: It is based on the use of antibodies to detect the presence, abundance and localization of specific proteins. This technique is critical for distinguishing between disorders with similar morphology and also for characterizing the molecular properties of some cancers.
  • In situ hybridization: Specific DNA and RNA molecules can be identified in sections using this technique.
  • Cytopathology: It is the examination of free cells spread in a petri dish using cytology techniques
  • Electron microscopy: It consists of the examination of tissue with an electron microscope that allows greater magnification, allowing the visualization of organelles within the cell.
  • Tissue cytogenesis: It is based on the visualization of chromosomes to identify genetic defects such as chromosome translocation.
  • Immunophenotyping: It consists of determining the immunophenotype of cells using cytometric techniques. (measure cells). It is useful for diagnosing different types of leukemia and lymphomas.

Main equipment used in pathological anatomy

Among the equipment most used in this science, we have: microtomes, microscopes, tissue processor, water baths for tissues, cryostats, cooling plates, trimmer and paraffin dispenser, slide dryers, tissue inclusion systems, systems of automatic staining for slides, among others.

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