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histology

A histology definition states that histology is a branch of anatomy that deals with the minute structure of animal and plant tissues as discernible with the microscope. It is also called microscopic anatomy, as opposed to gross anatomy, which involves structures that can be observed with the naked eye.

Histological studies are often carried out by examining a thin slice (called a “section”) of tissue under a light microscope or an electron microscope on a prepared slide. In order to distinguish different biological structures more easily and accurately, histological stains are often used to add colors to or enhance the colors of certain types of biological structures differently from other types of structures.

Histopathology, the microscopic study of diseased tissue, is an important tool in anatomical pathology, since accurate diagnosis of cancer and other diseases usually requires histopathological examination of samples. Trained physicians, frequently licensed clinical pathologists, are the personnel who perform histopathological examination and provide diagnostic information based on their observations. The trained personnel who prepare histological specimens for examination are histotechnicians, histology technicians (HT), histology technologists (HTL), medical scientists, medical laboratory technicians or biomedical scientists. Their field of study is called histotechnology.

Staining is employed because biological tissue has little inherent contrast in either the light or electron microscope. Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E stain) is the most commonly used light microscopical stain in histology and histopathology. Hematoxylin, a basic dye, stains nuclei blue due to an affinity to nucleic acids in the cell nucleus; eosin, an acidic dye, stains the cytoplasm pink. Uranyl acetate and lead citrate are commonly used to impart contrast to tissue in the electron microscope.

There are many other staining techniques that have been used to selectively stain cells and cellular components.

The word “histology” is derived from two Greek words, histo=”tissue” and logos=”study.”

Pathology Groups Should Plan to Use Digital Pathology

WHEN AN ANATOMIC PATHOLOGY GROUP CONSIDERS IMPLEMENTING digital pathology and whole-slide imaging (WSI) for primary diagnosis, it must identify and understand a range of challenges and opportunities. “Every pathology group should start by considering how it will use the related technologies of a…

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Alverno Labs Adds Eight Hospitals to Its Network

CEO SUMMARY: In September, Alverno Laboratories, one of the largest networks of regional laboratories in the Midwest, added two Chicago hospital laboratories and six other hospital labs from the AMITA Health system to its network. The additional AMITA Health facilities joined Alverno as a…

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Expert Sees Pros, Cons In DP and WSI Systems

CEO SUMMARY: Now that the FDA has cleared two digital pathology systems for use in primary diagnosis, a growing number of pathology groups are taking up the question of whether and when they should adopt and use a digital pathology system and whole slide imaging. One pathologist with hand…

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OIG Finds 120-Day Delays at Memphis VA Path Lab

CEO SUMMARY: Last year, Veterans Administration officials received an anonymous complaint about delays in laboratory specimen processing and results at the Memphis VA Medical Center may have harmed patients and led to a patient death. Following an investigation, the VA’s Office of Inspe…

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AP Practices Cautioned to Focus on Expenses

CEO SUMMARY: Reviewing an AP practice’s expenses is vitally important today when payers are cutting reimbursement. In the past, government and private payers paid more for the technical and professional components of anatomic pathology work, but those rates have eroded. While conversati…

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AP Groups Can Protect Revenue, Pathologist Compensation

CEO SUMMARY: Many anatomic pathology groups are watching their revenue decline and margins shrink on the same or greater case volume. These trends make it imperative to have a deeper understanding of the operational and financial variables that contribute to stability in the group’s fi…

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Pap Test Errors in Ireland Attributed to Quest, CPL

CEO SUMMARY: In Ireland, the big story in healthcare at the moment is the discovery that the nation’s cervical cancer screening program has failed hundreds of women who had pre-cancerous conditions or cervical cancer, but, as alleged in numerous court cases, their tests were inaccurate …

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Wake Forest Baptist Lab’s Path Errors Teach Lessons

CEO SUMMARY: For medical directors and pathologists interested in improving their labs’ compliance with CLIA regulations, a report from federal and state inspectors of an inspection of the pathology lab at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center offers insights into what issues caught th…

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Wake Forest Baptist Hospital Reviewing Path Lab Deficiencies

CEO SUMMARY: In response to information the staff provided to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital’s risk manager last fall, and following a federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services inspection in February, CMS describes deficiencies found as “an immediate jeopardy to the health and …

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CMS Report, News Stories Describe Pathology Issues

CEO SUMMARY: In response to information the pathology lab staff provided to the hospital’s risk manager last fall, and following a federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services inspection in February, the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is taking corrective action to fix serious…

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