Pathological Anatomy

pathology is one of two branches of general pathology , together with the clinical pathology. It studies human diseases by carrying out specific macroscopic examinations of the organs or microscopic of the tissues and cells, and has a fundamental role in the planning of any medical or surgical therapies by providing accurate diagnoses for patients in whom a disease is suspected. The pathological investigation allows to distinguish between normal tissues, inflammation, benign and malignant tumors and other pathological conditions. Giovan Battista Morgagni is generally considered the founder of this discipline.

Pathological anatomy operates in all sectors of pathological diagnostics and makes use of different methods:

  • Autopsy : performed on the corpse with the aim of clarifying the causes of death . It is not usually practiced, and is carried out only after death in unclear circumstances or in any case following an explicit request by the doctor and the authorities. It also represents an important control of the medical-care quality of a hospital structure.
  • Biopsy : consists of a tissue sampling from a patient in whom a disease is suspected to make an exact diagnosis, and thus adapt any subsequent medical or surgical therapies.
  • Intraoperative examination : is a histological examination conducted on tissues taken during surgery to ascertain what type of disease is in progress if it had not already been determined previously, or if new aspects emerge during the operation.
  • Cytology : morphological study of isolated cells taken from organs. It can be implemented for diagnostic or preventive purposes, as in the case of the Pap test . Compared to biopsy, it has the advantage of less invasiveness .
  • Molecular pathology techniques : these are molecular biology techniques for diagnostic purposes. They are very sensitive but usually complex and expensive. Examples include DNA highlighting of tuberculous mycobacterium ( TB ) or human papilloma virus ( HPV ).


Training path
The pathological anatomy specialist completed his training after graduating in Medicine and Surgery, obtaining a five-year Specialization Diploma in Pathological Anatomy . Being a broad subject, it is divided into subspecialties, of which the main ones are surgical pathology , cytopathology and forensic pathology .


associations The main association of sector specialists in Italy is the Italian Society of Pathological Anatomy and Diagnostic Cytology ( SIAPeC ).

Services generally offered by pathologists

  • Visit for prostate biopsy
  • Visit for skin biopsy
  • Hpv test
  • Blood analysis
  • PAP test

Disorders and pathologies generally treated by pathologists

  • Papilloma virus
  • Disorders of the thyroid gland


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