Pathology-DNA is concerned with studies on cells and tissues of patients. These diagnostic services are requested by clinicians, GPs (general practitioners) and other referrers. Apart from investigations on abnormalities of cells (cytology/cytopathology) and tissues (histology/histopathology), Pathology-DNA also investigates genetic causes of diseases (molecular pathology) and death (autopsy pathology). For more information, see the Dutch Society for Pathology (NvvP).
Cytology is the study of individual cells. These cells are obtained by fine needle aspirations or scrapings. Every year, many scrapings are studied for cervical cancer by Pathology-DNA in the context of the Dutch population-based screening program on cervical cancer. Furthermore, each year thousands of cellular studies are carried out for medical colleagues in hospitals or GPs in the regions served by Pathology-DNA. See also cytopathology.
Histology is the study of cells in tissues and the architecture and function of tissues, building organs. Tissue samples are referred by hospitals, independent specialized treatment centers and GPs. These samples vary from small pieces of tissue (biopsies) to whole organs. The complete process from reception in our laboratories to making the diagnosis and preparing a report on the results takes 3 days on average. When additional investigations are required, this process can take longer.
Immunology/Immunohistochemistry are techniques that employ monoclonal antibodies to detect the presence of specialized (families of) proteins in cells or tissues. Using these techniques, tumor cells can be further characterized, enabling e.g. the origin of tumor cells in a lymph node metastasis. It also allows us to determine whether a tumor will be sensitive to certain types of therapy. Read more.
Molecular Pathology is an important addition to the regular pathology services of Pathology-DNA. The origin of diseases is investigated by molecular techniques. Most of the frequently occurring genetic disorders can be determined
An autopsy is the final examination on a deceased person, baby or fetus that died before birth. Pathology-DNA performs autopsies on the request of GPs, or hospital consultants of other specialties, when permission of the family of the deceased has been obtained. These examinations are conducted in order to find or ascertain diseases or medical causes of death.