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"Pathobiology" redirects here. Pathology_sentence_0

For the journal, see Karger Publishers. Pathology_sentence_1

For other uses, see Pathology (disambiguation). Pathology_sentence_2


FocusPathology_header_cell_0_0_0 DiseasePathology_cell_0_0_1
SubdivisionsPathology_header_cell_0_1_0 Anatomical pathology, clinical pathology, dermatopathology, forensic pathology, hematopathology, histopathology, molecular pathology, surgical pathologyPathology_cell_0_1_1
Significant diseasesPathology_header_cell_0_2_0 All infectious and organic diseases and physiological disordersPathology_cell_0_2_1
Significant testsPathology_header_cell_0_3_0 All medical diagnostic tests, particular biopsy, blood analysis, dissection, and other applications of medical microscopyPathology_cell_0_3_1
SpecialistPathology_header_cell_0_4_0 PathologistPathology_cell_0_4_1
GlossaryPathology_header_cell_0_5_0 Glossary of medicinePathology_cell_0_5_1

Pathology is the study of the causes and effects of disease or injury. Pathology_sentence_3

The word pathology also refers to the study of disease in general, incorporating a wide range of bioscience research fields and medical practices. Pathology_sentence_4

However, when used in the context of modern medical treatment, the term is often used in a more narrow fashion to refer to processes and tests which fall within the contemporary medical field of "general pathology", an area which includes a number of distinct but inter-related medical specialties that diagnose disease, mostly through analysis of tissue, cell, and body fluid samples. Pathology_sentence_5

Idiomatically, "a pathology" may also refer to the predicted or actual progression of particular diseases (as in the statement "the many different forms of cancer have diverse pathologies"), and the affix pathy is sometimes used to indicate a state of disease in cases of both physical ailment (as in cardiomyopathy) and psychological conditions (such as psychopathy). Pathology_sentence_6

A physician practicing pathology is called a pathologist. Pathology_sentence_7

As a field of general inquiry and research, pathology addresses components of disease: cause, mechanisms of development (pathogenesis), structural alterations of cells (morphologic changes), and the consequences of changes (clinical manifestations). Pathology_sentence_8

In common medical practice, general pathology is mostly concerned with analyzing known clinical abnormalities that are markers or precursors for both infectious and non-infectious disease, and is conducted by experts in one of two major specialties, anatomical pathology and clinical pathology. Pathology_sentence_9

Further divisions in specialty exist on the basis of the involved sample types (comparing, for example, cytopathology, hematopathology, and histopathology), organs (as in renal pathology), and physiological systems (oral pathology), as well as on the basis of the focus of the examination (as with forensic pathology). Pathology_sentence_10

Pathology is a significant field in modern medical diagnosis and medical research. Pathology_sentence_11

History Pathology_section_0

Main article: History of medicine Pathology_sentence_12

The study of pathology, including the detailed examination of the body, including dissection and inquiry into specific maladies, dates back to antiquity. Pathology_sentence_13

Rudimentary understanding of many conditions was present in most early societies and is attested to in the records of the earliest historical societies, including those of the Middle East, India, and China. Pathology_sentence_14

By the Hellenic period of ancient Greece, a concerted causal study of disease was underway (see Medicine in ancient Greece), with many notable early physicians (such as Hippocrates, for whom the modern Hippocratic Oath is named) having developed methods of diagnosis and prognosis for a number of diseases. Pathology_sentence_15

The medical practices of the Romans and those of the Byzantines continued from these Greek roots, but, as with many areas of scientific inquiry, growth in understanding of medicine stagnated some after the Classical Era, but continued to slowly develop throughout numerous cultures. Pathology_sentence_16

Notably, many advances were made in the medieval era of Islam (see Medicine in medieval Islam), during which numerous texts of complex pathologies were developed, also based on the Greek tradition. Pathology_sentence_17

Even so, growth in complex understanding of disease mostly languished until knowledge and experimentation again began to proliferate in the Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Baroque eras, following the resurgence of the empirical method at new centers of scholarship. Pathology_sentence_18

By the 17th century, the study of rudimentary microscopy was underway and examination of tissues had led British Royal Society member Robert Hooke to coin the word "cell", setting the stage for later germ theory. Pathology_sentence_19

Modern pathology began to develop as a distinct field of inquiry during the 19th Century through natural philosophers and physicians that studied disease and the informal study of what they termed “pathological anatomy” or “morbid anatomy”. Pathology_sentence_20

However, pathology as a formal area of specialty was not fully developed until the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with the advent of detailed study of microbiology. Pathology_sentence_21

In the 19th century, physicians had begun to understand that disease-causing pathogens, or "germs" (a catch-all for disease-causing, or pathogenic, microbes, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, amoebae, molds, protists, and prions) existed and were capable of reproduction and multiplication, replacing earlier beliefs in humors or even spiritual agents, that had dominated for much of the previous 1,500 years in European medicine. Pathology_sentence_22

With the new understanding of causative agents, physicians began to compare the characteristics of one germ's symptoms as they developed within an affected individual to another germ's characteristics and symptoms. Pathology_sentence_23

This approach led to the foundational understanding that diseases are able to replicate themselves, and that they can have many profound and varied effects on the human host. Pathology_sentence_24

To determine causes of diseases, medical experts used the most common and widely accepted assumptions or symptoms of their times, a general principal of approach that persists into modern medicine. Pathology_sentence_25

Modern medicine was particularly advanced by further developments of the microscope to analyze tissues, to which Rudolf Virchow gave a significant contribution, leading to a slew of research developments. Pathology_sentence_26

By the late 1920s to early 1930s pathology was deemed a medical specialty. Pathology_sentence_27

Combined with developments in the understanding of general physiology, by the beginning of the 20th century, the study of pathology had begun to split into a number of distinct fields, resulting in the development of a large number of modern specialties within pathology and related disciplines of diagnostic medicine. Pathology_sentence_28

Etymology Pathology_section_1

The terms pathology comes from the Ancient Greek roots of pathos (πάθος), meaning "experience" or "suffering" and (), "study of". Pathology_sentence_29

General pathology Pathology_section_2

The modern practice of pathology is divided into a number of subdisciplines within the discrete but deeply interconnected aims of biological research and medical practice. Pathology_sentence_30

Biomedical research into disease incorporates the work of a vast variety of life science specialists, whereas, in most parts of the world, to be licensed to practice pathology as a medical specialty, one has to complete medical school and secure a license to practice medicine. Pathology_sentence_31

Structurally, the study of disease is divided into many different fields that study or diagnose markers for disease using methods and technologies particular to specific scales, organs, and tissue types. Pathology_sentence_32

The information in this section mostly concerns pathology as it regards common medical practice in these systems, but each of these specialties is also the subject of voluminous pathology research as regards the disease pathways of specific pathogens and disorders that affect the tissues of these discrete organs or structures. Pathology_sentence_33

(See also Gross pathology). Pathology_sentence_34

Anatomical pathology Pathology_section_3

Main article: Anatomical pathology Pathology_sentence_35

Anatomical pathology (Commonwealth) or anatomic pathology (United States) is a medical specialty that is concerned with the diagnosis of disease based on the gross, microscopic, chemical, immunologic and molecular examination of organs, tissues, and whole bodies (as in a general examination or an autopsy). Pathology_sentence_36

Anatomical pathology is itself divided into subfields, the main divisions being surgical pathology, cytopathology, and forensic pathology. Pathology_sentence_37

Anatomical pathology is one of two main divisions of the medical practice of pathology, the other being clinical pathology, the diagnosis of disease through the laboratory analysis of bodily fluids and tissues. Pathology_sentence_38

Sometimes, pathologists practice both anatomical and clinical pathology, a combination known as general pathology. Pathology_sentence_39

Cytopathology Pathology_section_4

Main article: Cytopathology Pathology_sentence_40

Cytopathology (sometimes referred to as "cytology") is a branch of pathology that studies and diagnoses diseases on the cellular level. Pathology_sentence_41

It is usually used to aid in the diagnosis of cancer, but also helps in the diagnosis of certain infectious diseases and other inflammatory conditions as well as thyroid lesions, diseases involving sterile body cavities (peritoneal, pleural, and cerebrospinal), and a wide range of other body sites. Pathology_sentence_42

Cytopathology is generally used on samples of free cells or tissue fragments (in contrast to histopathology, which studies whole tissues) and cytopathologic tests are sometimes called smear tests because the samples may be smeared across a glass microscope slide for subsequent staining and microscopic examination. Pathology_sentence_43

However, cytology samples may be prepared in other ways, including cytocentrifugation. Pathology_sentence_44

Dermatopathology Pathology_section_5

Main article: Dermatopathology Pathology_sentence_45

Dermatopathology is a subspecialty of anatomic pathology that focuses on the skin and the rest of the integumentary system as an organ. Pathology_sentence_46

It is unique, in that there are two paths a physician can take to obtain the specialization. Pathology_sentence_47

All general pathologists and general dermatologists train in the pathology of the skin, so the term dermatopathologist denotes either of these who has reached a certainly level of accreditation and experience; in the US, either a general pathologist or a dermatologist can undergo a 1 to 2 year fellowship in the field of dermatopathology. Pathology_sentence_48

The completion of this fellowship allows one to take a subspecialty board examination, and becomes a board certified dermatopathologist. Pathology_sentence_49

Dermatologists are able to recognize most skin diseases based on their appearances, anatomic distributions, and behavior. Pathology_sentence_50

Sometimes, however, those criteria do not lead to a conclusive diagnosis, and a skin biopsy is taken to be examined under the microscope using usual histological tests. Pathology_sentence_51

In some cases, additional specialized testing needs to be performed on biopsies, including immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, flow cytometry, and molecular-pathologic analysis. Pathology_sentence_52

One of the greatest challenges of dermatopathology is its scope. Pathology_sentence_53

More than 1500 different disorders of the skin exist, including cutaneous eruptions ("rashes") and neoplasms. Pathology_sentence_54

Therefore, dermatopathologists must maintain a broad base of knowledge in clinical dermatology, and be familiar with several other specialty areas in Medicine. Pathology_sentence_55

Forensic pathology Pathology_section_6

Main article: Forensic pathology Pathology_sentence_56

Forensic pathology focuses on determining the cause of death by post-mortem examination of a corpse or partial remains. Pathology_sentence_57

An autopsy is typically performed by a coroner or medical examiner, often during criminal investigations; in this role, coroners and medical examiners are also frequently asked to confirm the identity of a corpse. Pathology_sentence_58

The requirements for becoming a licensed practitioner of forensic pathology varies from country to country (and even within a given nation) but typically a minimal requirement is a medical doctorate with a specialty in general or anatomical pathology with subsequent study in forensic medicine. Pathology_sentence_59

The methods forensic scientists use to determine death include examination of tissue specimens to identify the presence or absence of natural disease and other microscopic findings, interpretations of toxicology on body tissues and fluids to determine the chemical cause of overdoses, poisonings or other cases involving toxic agents, and examinations of physical trauma. Pathology_sentence_60

Forensic pathology is a major component in the trans-disciplinary field of forensic science. Pathology_sentence_61

Histopathology Pathology_section_7

Main article: Histopathology Pathology_sentence_62

Histopathology refers to the microscopic examination of various forms of human tissue. Pathology_sentence_63

Specifically, in clinical medicine, histopathology refers to the examination of a biopsy or surgical specimen by a pathologist, after the specimen has been processed and histological sections have been placed onto glass slides. Pathology_sentence_64

This contrasts with the methods of cytopathology, which uses free cells or tissue fragments. Pathology_sentence_65

Histopathological examination of tissues starts with surgery, biopsy, or autopsy. Pathology_sentence_66

The tissue is removed from the body of an organism and then placed in a fixative that stabilizes the tissues to prevent decay. Pathology_sentence_67

The most common fixative is formalin, although frozen section fixing is also common. Pathology_sentence_68

To see the tissue under a microscope, the sections are stained with one or more pigments. Pathology_sentence_69

The aim of staining is to reveal cellular components; counterstains are used to provide contrast. Pathology_sentence_70

Histochemistry refers to the science of using chemical reactions between laboratory chemicals and components within tissue. Pathology_sentence_71

The histological slides are then interpreted diagnostically and the resulting pathology report describes the histological findings and the opinion of the pathologist. Pathology_sentence_72

In the case of cancer, this represents the tissue diagnosis required for most treatment protocols. Pathology_sentence_73

Neuropathology Pathology_section_8

Main article: Neuropathology Pathology_sentence_74

Neuropathology is the study of disease of nervous system tissue, usually in the form of either surgical biopsies or sometimes whole brains in the case of autopsy. Pathology_sentence_75

Neuropathology is a subspecialty of anatomic pathology, neurology, and neurosurgery. Pathology_sentence_76

In many English-speaking countries, neuropathology is considered a subfield of anatomical pathology. Pathology_sentence_77

A physician who specializes in neuropathology, usually by completing a fellowship after a residency in anatomical or general pathology, is called a neuropathologist. Pathology_sentence_78

In day-to-day clinical practice, a neuropathologist is a consultant for other physicians. Pathology_sentence_79

If a disease of the nervous system is suspected, and the diagnosis cannot be made by less invasive methods, a biopsy of nervous tissue is taken from the brain or spinal cord to aid in diagnosis. Pathology_sentence_80

Biopsy is usually requested after a mass is detected by medical imaging. Pathology_sentence_81

With autopsies, the principal work of the neuropathologist is to help in the post-mortem diagnosis of various conditions that affect the central nervous system. Pathology_sentence_82

Biopsies can also consist of the skin. Pathology_sentence_83

Epidermal nerve fiber density testing (ENFD) is a more recently developed neuropathology test in which a punch skin biopsy is taken to identify small fiber neuropathies by analyzing the nerve fibers of the skin. Pathology_sentence_84

This test is becoming available in select labs as well as many universities; it replaces the traditional nerve biopsy test as less invasive. Pathology_sentence_85

Pulmonary pathology Pathology_section_9

Main article: Pulmonary pathology Pathology_sentence_86

Pulmonary pathology is a subspecialty of anatomic (and especially surgical) pathology that deals with diagnosis and characterization of neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases of the lungs and thoracic pleura. Pathology_sentence_87

Diagnostic specimens are often obtained via bronchoscopic transbronchial biopsy, CT-guided percutaneous biopsy, or video-assisted thoracic surgery. Pathology_sentence_88

These tests can be necessary to diagnose between infection, inflammation, or fibrotic conditions. Pathology_sentence_89

Renal pathology Pathology_section_10

Main article: Renal pathology Pathology_sentence_90

Renal pathology is a subspecialty of anatomic pathology that deals with the diagnosis and characterization of disease of the kidneys. Pathology_sentence_91

In a medical setting, renal pathologists work closely with nephrologists and transplant surgeons, who typically obtain diagnostic specimens via percutaneous renal biopsy. Pathology_sentence_92

The renal pathologist must synthesize findings from traditional microscope histology, electron microscopy, and immunofluorescence to obtain a definitive diagnosis. Pathology_sentence_93

Medical renal diseases may affect the glomerulus, the tubules and interstitium, the vessels, or a combination of these compartments. Pathology_sentence_94

Surgical pathology Pathology_section_11

Main article: Surgical pathology Pathology_sentence_95

Surgical pathology is one of the primary areas of practice for most anatomical pathologists. Pathology_sentence_96

Surgical pathology involves the gross and microscopic examination of surgical specimens, as well as biopsies submitted by surgeons and non-surgeons such as general internists, medical subspecialists, dermatologists, and interventional radiologists. Pathology_sentence_97

Often an excised tissue sample is the best and most definitive evidence of disease (or lack thereof) in cases where tissue is surgically removed from a patient. Pathology_sentence_98

These determinations are usually accomplished by a combination of gross (i.e., macroscopic) and histologic (i.e., microscopic) examination of the tissue, and may involve evaluations of molecular properties of the tissue by immunohistochemistry or other laboratory tests. Pathology_sentence_99

There are two major types of specimens submitted for surgical pathology analysis: biopsies and surgical resections. Pathology_sentence_100

A biopsy is a small piece of tissue removed primarily for surgical pathology analysis, most often in order to render a definitive diagnosis. Pathology_sentence_101

Types of biopsies include core biopsies, which are obtained through the use of large-bore needles, sometimes under the guidance of radiological techniques such as ultrasound, CT scan, or magnetic resonance imaging. Pathology_sentence_102

Incisional biopsies are obtained through diagnostic surgical procedures that remove part of a suspicious lesion, whereas excisional biopsies remove the entire lesion, and are similar to therapeutic surgical resections. Pathology_sentence_103

Excisional biopsies of skin lesions and gastrointestinal polyps are very common. Pathology_sentence_104

The pathologist's interpretation of a biopsy is critical to establishing the diagnosis of a benign or malignant tumor, and can differentiate between different types and grades of cancer, as well as determining the activity of specific molecular pathways in the tumor. Pathology_sentence_105

Surgical resection specimens are obtained by the therapeutic surgical removal of an entire diseased area or organ (and occasionally multiple organs). Pathology_sentence_106

These procedures are often intended as definitive surgical treatment of a disease in which the diagnosis is already known or strongly suspected, but pathological analysis of these specimens remains important in confirming the previous diagnosis. Pathology_sentence_107

Clinical pathology Pathology_section_12

Main article: Clinical pathology Pathology_sentence_108

Clinical pathology is a medical specialty that is concerned with the diagnosis of disease based on the laboratory analysis of bodily fluids such as blood and urine, as well as tissues, using the tools of chemistry, clinical microbiology, hematology and molecular pathology. Pathology_sentence_109

Clinical pathologists work in close collaboration with medical technologists, hospital administrations, and referring physicians. Pathology_sentence_110

Clinical pathologists learn to administer a number of visual and microscopic tests and an especially large variety of tests of the biophysical properties of tissue samples involving automated analysers and cultures. Pathology_sentence_111

Sometimes the general term "laboratory medicine specialist" is used to refer to those working in clinical pathology, including medical doctors, Ph.D.s and doctors of pharmacology. Pathology_sentence_112

Immunopathology, the study of an organism's immune response to infection, is sometimes considered to fall within the domain of clinical pathology. Pathology_sentence_113

Hematopathology Pathology_section_13

Main article: Hematopathology Pathology_sentence_114

Hematopathology is the study of diseases of blood cells (including constituents such as white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets) and the tissues, and organs comprising the hematopoietic system. Pathology_sentence_115

The term hematopoietic system refers to tissues and organs that produce and/or primarily host hematopoietic cells and includes bone marrow, the lymph nodes, thymus, spleen, and other lymphoid tissues. Pathology_sentence_116

In the United States, hematopathology is a board certified subspecialty (licensed under the American Board of Pathology) practiced by those physicians who have completed a general pathology residency (anatomic, clinical, or combined) and an additional year of fellowship training in hematology. Pathology_sentence_117

The hematopathologist reviews biopsies of lymph nodes, bone marrows and other tissues involved by an infiltrate of cells of the hematopoietic system. Pathology_sentence_118

In addition, the hematopathologist may be in charge of flow cytometric and/or molecular hematopathology studies. Pathology_sentence_119

Molecular pathology Pathology_section_14

Main article: Molecular pathology Pathology_sentence_120

Molecular pathology is focused upon the study and diagnosis of disease through the examination of molecules within organs, tissues or bodily fluids. Pathology_sentence_121

Molecular pathology is multidisciplinary by nature and shares some aspects of practice with both anatomic pathology and clinical pathology, molecular biology, biochemistry, proteomics and genetics. Pathology_sentence_122

It is often applied in a context that is as much scientific as directly medical and encompasses the development of molecular and genetic approaches to the diagnosis and classification of human diseases, the design and validation of predictive biomarkers for treatment response and disease progression, and the susceptibility of individuals of different genetic constitution to particular disorders. Pathology_sentence_123

The crossover between molecular pathology and epidemiology is represented by a related field "molecular pathological epidemiology". Pathology_sentence_124

Molecular pathology is commonly used in diagnosis of cancer and infectious diseases. Pathology_sentence_125

Molecular Pathology is primarily used to detect cancers such as melanoma, brainstem glioma, brain tumors as well as many other types of cancer and infectious diseases. Pathology_sentence_126

Techniques are numerous but include quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), multiplex PCR, DNA microarray, in situ hybridization, DNA sequencing, antibody-based immunofluorescence tissue assays, molecular profiling of pathogens, and analysis of bacterial genes for antimicrobial resistance. Pathology_sentence_127

Techniques used are based on analyzing samples of DNA and RNA. Pathology_sentence_128

Pathology is widely used for gene therapy and disease diagnosis. Pathology_sentence_129

Oral and maxillofacial pathology Pathology_section_15

Main article: Oral and maxillofacial pathology Pathology_sentence_130

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, and is sometimes considered a specialty of both dentistry and pathology. Pathology_sentence_131

Oral Pathologists must complete three years of post doctoral training in an accredited program and subsequently obtain diplomate status from the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Pathology_sentence_132

The specialty focuses on the diagnosis, clinical management and investigation of diseases that affect the oral cavity and surrounding maxillofacial structures including but not limited to odontogenic, infectious, epithelial, salivary gland, bone and soft tissue pathologies. Pathology_sentence_133

It also significantly intersects with the field of dental pathology. Pathology_sentence_134

Although concerned with a broad variety of diseases of the oral cavity, they have roles distinct from otorhinolaryngologists ("ear, nose, and throat" specialists), and speech pathologists, the latter of which helps diagnose many neurological or neuromuscular conditions relevant to speech phonology or swallowing. Pathology_sentence_135

Owing to the availability of the oral cavity to non-invasive examination, many conditions in the study of oral disease can be diagnosed, or at least suspected, from gross examination, but biopsies, cell smears, and other tissue analysis remain important diagnostic tools in oral pathology. Pathology_sentence_136

Medical training and accreditation Pathology_section_16

Becoming a pathologist generally requires specialty-training after medical school, but individual nations vary some in the medical licensing required of pathologists. Pathology_sentence_137

In the United States, pathologists are physicians (D.O. Pathology_sentence_138

or M.D.) Pathology_sentence_139

who have completed a four-year undergraduate program, four years of medical school training, and three to four years of postgraduate training in the form of a pathology residency. Pathology_sentence_140

Training may be within two primary specialties, as recognized by the American Board of Pathology: anatomical pathology and clinical Pathology, each of which requires separate board certification. Pathology_sentence_141

The American Osteopathic Board of Pathology also recognizes four primary specialties: anatomic pathology, dermatopathology, forensic pathology, and laboratory medicine. Pathology_sentence_142

Pathologists may pursue specialised fellowship training within one or more subspecialties of either anatomical or clinical pathology. Pathology_sentence_143

Some of these subspecialties permit additional board certification, while others do not. Pathology_sentence_144

In the United Kingdom, pathologists are physicians licensed by the UK General Medical Council. Pathology_sentence_145

The training to become a pathologist is under the oversight of the Royal College of Pathologists. Pathology_sentence_146

After four to six years of undergraduate medical study, trainees proceed to a two-year foundation program. Pathology_sentence_147

Full-time training in histopathology currently lasts between five and five and a half years and includes specialist training in surgical pathology, cytopathology, and autopsy pathology. Pathology_sentence_148

It is also possible to take a Royal College of Pathologists diploma in forensic pathology, dermatopathology, or cytopathology, recognising additional specialist training and expertise and to get specialist accreditation in forensic pathology, pediatric pathology, and neuropathology. Pathology_sentence_149

All postgraduate medical training and education in the UK is overseen by the General Medical Council. Pathology_sentence_150

In France, pathology is separated into two distinct specialties, anatomical pathology, and clinical pathology. Pathology_sentence_151

Residencies for both lasts four years. Pathology_sentence_152

Residency in anatomical pathology is open to physicians only, while clinical pathology is open to both physicians and pharmacists. Pathology_sentence_153

At the end of the second year of clinical pathology residency, residents can choose between general clinical pathology and a specialization in one of the disciplines, but they can not practice anatomical pathology, nor can anatomical pathology residents practice clinical pathology. Pathology_sentence_154

Overlap with other diagnostic medicine Pathology_section_17

Main articles: Diagnostic medicine, Oncology, Infectious disease, and Medical imaging Pathology_sentence_155

Though separate fields in terms of medical practice, a number of areas of inquiry in medicine and medical science either overlap greatly with general pathology, work in tandem with it, or contribute significantly to the understanding of the pathology of a given disease or its course in an individual. Pathology_sentence_156

As a significant portion of all general pathology practice is concerned with cancer, the practice of oncology makes extensive use of both anatomical and clinical pathology in diagnosis and treatment. Pathology_sentence_157

In particular, biopsy, resection, and blood tests are all examples of pathology work that is essential for the diagnoses of many kinds of cancer and for the staging of cancerous masses. Pathology_sentence_158

In a similar fashion, the tissue and blood analysis techniques of general pathology are of central significance to the investigation of serious infectious disease and as such inform significantly upon the fields of epidemiology, etiology, immunology, and parasitology. Pathology_sentence_159

General pathology methods are of great importance to biomedical research into disease, wherein they are sometimes referred to as "experimental" or "investigative" pathology. Pathology_sentence_160

Medical imaging is the generating of visual representations of the interior of a body for clinical analysis and medical intervention. Pathology_sentence_161

Medical imaging reveals details of internal physiology that help medical professionals plan appropriate treatments for tissue infection and trauma. Pathology_sentence_162

Medical imaging is also central in supplying the biometric data necessary to establish baseline features of anatomy and physiology so as to increase the accuracy with which early or fine-detail abnormalities are detected. Pathology_sentence_163

These diagnostic techniques are often performed in combination with general pathology procedures and are themselves often essential to developing new understanding of the pathogenesis of a given disease and tracking the progress of disease in specific medical cases. Pathology_sentence_164

Examples of important subdivisions in medical imaging include radiology (which uses the imaging technologies of X-ray radiography) magnetic resonance imaging, medical ultrasonography (or ultrasound), endoscopy, elastography, tactile imaging, thermography, medical photography, nuclear medicine and functional imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography. Pathology_sentence_165

Though they do not strictly relay images, readings from diagnostics tests involving electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography, and electrocardiography often give hints as to the state and function of certain tissues in the brain and heart respectively. Pathology_sentence_166

Psychopathology Pathology_section_18

Main article: Psychopathology Pathology_sentence_167

Psychopathology is the study of mental illness, particularly of severe disorders. Pathology_sentence_168

Informed heavily by both psychology and neurology, its purpose is to classify mental illness, elucidate its underlying causes, and guide clinical psychiatric treatment accordingly. Pathology_sentence_169

Although diagnosis and classification of mental norms and disorders is largely the purview of psychiatry—the results of which are guidelines such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which attempt to classify mental disease mostly on behavioural evidence, though not without controversy—the field is also heavily, and increasingly, informed upon by neuroscience and other of the biological cognitive sciences. Pathology_sentence_170

Mental or social disorders or behaviours seen as generally unhealthy or excessive in a given individual, to the point where they cause harm or severe disruption to the sufferer's lifestyle, are often called "pathological" (e.g., pathological gambling or pathological liar). Pathology_sentence_171

Non-humans Pathology_section_19

Although the vast majority of lab work and research in pathology concerns the development of disease in humans, pathology is of significance throughout the biological sciences. Pathology_sentence_172

Two main catch-all fields exist to represent most complex organisms capable of serving as host to a pathogen or other form of disease: veterinary pathology (concerned with all non-human species of kingdom of Animalia) and phytopathology, which studies disease in plants. Pathology_sentence_173

Veterinary pathology Pathology_section_20

Main articles: Veterinary pathology and Animal testing Pathology_sentence_174

Veterinary pathology covers a vast array of species, but with a significantly smaller number of practitioners, so understanding of disease in non-human animals, especially as regards veterinary practice, varies considerably by species. Pathology_sentence_175

Nonetheless, significant amounts of pathology research are conducted on animals, for two primary reasons: 1) The origins of diseases are typically zoonotic in nature, and many infectious pathogens have animal vectors and, as such, understanding the mechanisms of action for these pathogens in non-human hosts is essential to the understanding and application of epidemiology and 2) those animals that share physiological and genetic traits with humans can be used as surrogates for the study of the disease and potential treatments as well as the effects of various synthetic products. Pathology_sentence_176

For this reason, as well as their roles as livestock and companion animals, mammals generally have the largest body of research in veterinary pathology. Pathology_sentence_177

Animal testing remains a controversial practice, even in cases where it is used to research treatment for human disease. Pathology_sentence_178

As in human medical pathology, the practice of veterinary pathology is customarily divided into the two main fields of anatomical and clinical pathology. Pathology_sentence_179

Plant pathology Pathology_section_21

Main article: Plant pathology Pathology_sentence_180

Although the pathogens and their mechanics differ greatly from those of animals, plants are subject to a wide variety of diseases, including those caused by fungi, oomycetes, bacteria, viruses, viroids, virus-like organisms, phytoplasmas, protozoa, nematodes and parasitic plants. Pathology_sentence_181

Damage caused by insects, mites, vertebrate, and other small herbivores is not considered a part of the domain of plant pathology. Pathology_sentence_182

The field is connected to plant disease epidemiology and especially concerned with the horticulture of species that are of high importance to the human diet or other human utility. Pathology_sentence_183

See also Pathology_section_22

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