Different Types of Pathology Tests Explained In Detail

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Pathology is the term used to describe the study of the causes, effects, as well as the development of various ailments.

Pathologists are board certified physicians who use a range of pathology tests to help in analyzing blood, tissue and body fluids. The results of a pathology test are used to ascertain an individual's diagnosis. Pathology testing is also critical in identifying a specific course of treatment and in monitoring the individual's recovery process.

How Do Pathology Tests Work?

To understand how pathology tests work, it is important to know the different types of pathology. Importantly there are two primary types of Pathology - these are known as Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology. Anatomical Pathology is concerned with the microscopic analysis of tissue. Pathologists specializing in this branch of Pathology usually work in tandem with surgeons and play a critical role in the identification of the tissue removed during the process of a surgery - particularly in cases when there is a tumor suspected.

Very often, pathologists are able to analyze a sample of tissue, whilst the surgery is still being conducted and advise the surgeon on the findings. This instant diagnosis is of great assistance to the surgeon as it helps in determining the next step in the surgical treatment of the patient. Further, the tissue is analyzed over the next few days after the surgery in order to accurately diagnose the spread and the prognosis of the ailment. In addition, pathologists specializing in anatomic pathology, who are available through the entire day to analyze tissue extracted during a surgery, can also review initial diagnosis and provide a second opinion.

Pathology Blood Tests

When it comes to pathology blood tests, the Complete blood count (or CBC) is one of the foremost medical practices and is very often considered to be the starting point of most medical investigations. This is primarily because of the fact that the blood count and any abnormalities in normal levels will usually indicate the presence of disease throughout the whole body. The complete blood count takes into consideration the levels of all constituents of the blood - the red blood cells, the white blood cells and the platelets. Not only are the numbers counted, but their proportions as well as overall hemoglobin levels are also measured in this test. Pathology blood test results interpretation is a very important part of making sure that diagnosis as well as treatment is accurate. In some cases, the pathology test results are also used during a surgical procedure in order to help the surgeon make some decisions regarding the best method of operation. The tissue may also be analyzed and reanalyzed over the next few days as the medical team observes the changes in the body through the recovery process and ensure that everything is as it should be. Pathology blood test codes are an important aspect of medical organization as these codes, when mentioned in the reports, will help avoid any confusion when some other doctor or nurse is looking at the patients chart.

A pathology blood test is performed in much the same way as any other blood test during retrieval of the sample to be analyzed. When performing the extraction of the sample on a child, though, the presiding doctor or nurse should take a much more gentle approach, seeing that children are generally rather scared of the needles. Because there are so many different types of pathology tests, it is highly recommended that you ask your doctor about any specifications in regards to foods or drinks that should be avoided that may taint the purity of the sample and affect the pathology blood test results interpretation.

Different Types of Pathology Tests

Pathologists involved in clinical pathology specialize in a range of pathology testing. The different kinds of pathology tests include assuring quality control of patient testing as well as performing bone-marrow biopsies, which is a type of pathology test that determines the proper functioning of the bone marrow. Pathologists work in conjunction with physicians using specialty laboratories that enable them to set up tests for spinal fluids, urine, blood, as well as other fluid samples and cultures. They also monitor the testing and follow up by interpreting the results of the tests. Importantly they can also answer any questions related to the tests.

The latest type of pathology is known as Molecular Pathology and is one that holds a great deal of promise for the future. In this type of pathological testing, the pathologists observe genes in an endeavor to identify the presence of cancer cells and also to predict prognosis and response to ongoing therapy. Molecular pathology is today helping medical experts achieve greater accuracy and precision in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer.

Pathology Test List, Results and Codes

Pathology is one of the most widely used forms of medicine and is very helpful in diagnosing a number of diseases afflicting an individual. Pathology is primarily focused on addressing 4 different components of disease such as cause/etiology, mechanisms of development as well as structural alterations of the cells within the body in addition to clinical manifestations. During the diagnosis phase of the treatment for a patient suffering from a certain condition, the doctor will perform certain medical tests that are a part of that clinic's or hospital's pathology test list. The pathology test lists cover all the pathology tests that can be carried out at that medical organization and the pathology test results will be given serious consideration in deciding the most appropriate treatment options available.

The pathology tests mentioned in a pathology clinics list of services will also allow you to simply send a specimen for testing in the event that you have a doctor that does not perform the test, but requires the pathology test results. In this case, the doctor can easily tell you which test is more helpful to his or her cause and you can have that test performed at the laboratory. Pathology test codes are medical reference names for each of the many pathology tests that can be carried out at the clinic or laboratory. For instance, one of the more common pathology tests is known as the complete blood count (CBC): which is test code C010. The liver or kidney function panel pathology test is C120 and the test code for when 25 or more samples are submitted to the laboratory together for testing is 055D.