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Histology

Histology

Histology is a branch of anatomy that deals with the study structure of animal and plant tissues that is only discernible with a microscope. It is also called microscopic anatomy, as opposed to gross anatomy, which involves structures that can be observed with the naked eye. The word “histology” is derived from two Greek words: histo, which means “tissue,” and logos, which means “study.”

Histopathology, the microscopic study of diseased tissue, is an important tool used in anatomical pathology, as accurate diagnosis of cancer and other diseases usually requires histopathological examination of samples.

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 to allow them to be more easily differentiated from other types of structures. Staining is employed because biological tissue has little inherent contrast when observed using either light or electron microscopes.

Trained physicians, frequently licensed clinical pathologists, are the personnel who actually perform histopathological examinations and provide diagnostic information based on their observations of the tissues being tested.

The trained personnel who prepare histological specimens for examination may go by a number of titles, including:

Their field of study is called histotechnology.

Histology has seen recent changes as technological advances in automation have influenced the field. Automation allows for the reduction of the workload of manual task needed to prepare and track histology specimens. Artificial intelligence also is playing a growing role in supporting the analysis of sections, supporting anatomic pathologists during their examinations of samples.

Sonic Healthcare Acquires ProPath, PathGroup Buys Path Consultants

CONSOLIDATION AMONG PRIVATE PRACTICE ANATOMIC PATHOLOGY GROUPS continues with news that two large regional pathology groups decided to sell to larger pathology companies.  The first transaction announced was on Dec. 16, 2021, when Sonic Healthcare …

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November 29, 2021 Intelligence: Late-Breaking Lab News

Pathologists interested in ways to automate the various manual steps in the histology laboratory may want to watch the progress of an emerging company. Clarapath of Hawthorne, N.Y., says it is “automating processes around the way tissue is processed onto glass slides via ‘sectioning,’ or…

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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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