Koneman, Elmer W. Department of Pathology, Denver Veterans Affairs Hospital, University of Colorado Medical School, Denver, Colorado.
Reiquam, C. William Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anshutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado.
Brimhall, Bradley B. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado.
Last reviewed:May 2019
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- History and laboratory administration
- Clinical laboratory subsections
- Chemical pathology
- Molecular biology and genetics
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A medical discipline in which disease processes are assessed and monitored by the examination of blood, body fluids, secretions, and aspirated specimens. Clinical pathology is a medical specialty encompassing the diagnostic study of disease by means of laboratory tests of material from the living patient (Fig. 1). The detection of chemical, morphological, microbiological, and immunological abnormalities in this material is reported as laboratory results. In contrast, anatomical pathology is the branch of pathology dealing with the nature of a disease process through studying the gross and microscopic features of tissues and fluids removed either at postmortem examination (autopsy) or during surgery. However, divisions between anatomical pathology and clinical pathology are somewhat artificial and largely embedded in how pathology evolved in academic practice. Overall, the information derived from autopsy examinations, surgical specimens, or clinical laboratory testing provides physicians with the means to confirm a final diagnosis and to evaluate nonsurgical conditions. Such information is used by physicians in diagnosis and therapy management. See also: Disease; Medicine; Pathology
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