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Hematology: Blood smears on a glass slide, stained and ready to be examined under the microscope.
Hematology: microscopic image of a normal blood smear. a:erythrocytes, b:neutrophil, c:eosinophil, d:lymphocyte.
Bacteriology: Agar plate with bacterial colonies.
Bacteriology: microscopic image of a mixture of two types of bacteria stained with the Gram stain.
Clinical chemistry: an automated blood chemistry analyser.
Clinical chemistry: microscopic image of crystals in urine.

Clinical pathology (US, UK, Ireland, Commonwealth, Portugal, Brazil, Italy, Japan), Laboratory Medicine (Germany, Romania, Poland, Eastern Europe), Clinical analysis (Spain) or Clinical/Medical Biology (France, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, North and West Africa...),[1] is a medical specialty that is concerned with the diagnosis of disease based on the laboratory analysis of bodily fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissue homogenates or extracts using the tools of chemistry, microbiology, hematology and molecular pathology. This specialty requires a medical residency and should not be confused with Biomedical science, which is not necessarily related to medicine.

Licensing and subspecialties[edit]

The American Board of Pathology certifies clinical pathologists, and recognizes the following secondary specialties of clinical pathology:

In some countries other subspecialties fall under certified Clinical Biologists responsibility:[2]


Clinical pathologists are often medical doctors. In some countries in South-America, Europe, Africa or Asia, this specialty can be practiced by non-physicians, such as Ph.D or Pharm.D after a variable number of years of residency.

In United States of America[edit]

Clinical pathologists work in close collaboration with clinical scientists (clinical biochemists, clinical microbiologists, etc.), medical technologists, hospital administrators, and referring physicians to ensure the accuracy and optimal utilization of laboratory testing.

Clinical pathology is one of the two major divisions of pathology, the other being anatomical pathology. Often, pathologists practice both anatomical and clinical pathology, a combination sometimes known as general pathology. Similar specialties exist in veterinary pathology.

Clinical pathology is itself divided into subspecialties, the main ones being clinical chemistry, clinical hematology/blood banking, hematopathology and clinical microbiology and emerging subspecialities such as molecular diagnostics and proteomics. Many areas of clinical pathology overlap with anatomic pathology. Both can serve as medical directors of CLIA certified laboratories. This overlap includes immunoassays, flow cytometry, microbiology and cytogenetics and any assay done on tissue. Overlap between anatomic and clinical pathology is expanding to molecular diagnostics and proteomics as we move towards making the best use of new technologies for personalized medicine.[3]

In Europe[edit]

Recently, EFLM has chosen the name of "Specialists in Laboratory Medicine" to define all European Clinical pathologists, regardless of their training (M.D, Ph.D or Pharm.D) .[4]

In France, Clinical Pathology is called Medical Biology ("Biologie médicale") and is practiced by both M.D.s and Pharm.Ds. The residency lasts four years. Specialists in this discipline are called "Biologiste médical" which literally translates as Clinical Biologist rather than "Clinical pathologist".[5]

Place of work[edit]

See Medical laboratory.

Tools of Clinical Pathology[edit]

Microscopes, analyzers, strips, centrifugal machines...

Macroscopic examination[edit]

The visual examination of the taken liquid is a first main indication for the pathologist or the physician. The aspect of the liquid, in addition, conditions the analytical assumption of responsibility that follow and the validity of the end-results.

Microscopical examination[edit]

Microscopic analysis is an important activity of the pathologist and the laboratory assistant. They have many different colourings at their disposal (GRAM, MGG, Grocott, Ziehl-Neelsen, …). Immunofluorescence, cytochemistry, the immunocytochemistry and FISH are also used in order make a correct diagnosis.

See also: staining

This stage allows the pathologist to determine the character of the liquid: “normal”, tumoral, inflammatory even infectious. Indeed, microscopic examination can often determine the causal infectious agent, in general a bacterium, a mould, a yeast, or a parasite, more rarely a virus.


See Automated analyser.

The analysers, by the association of robotics and spectrophotometry, allowed these last decades a better reproducibility of the results of proportionings, in particular in medical biochemistry and hematology.

The companies of in vitro diagnosis henceforth try to sell chains of automats, i.e. a system allowing the automatic transfer of the tubes towards the various types of automats of the same mark. These systems can include the computer-assisted management of a serum library.

These analysers must undergo daily controls to guarantee a result just possible, one speaks about quality control. These analysers must also undergo daily, weekly and monthly maintenances.


A big part of the examinations of clinical pathology, primarily in medical microbiology, use culture media. Those allow, for example, the description of one or several infectious agents responsible of the clinical signs.

Values known as “normal” or reference values[edit]

Detailed article: Reference range.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_pathology — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

1606 news items

DARKDaily.com - Laboratory News

DARKDaily.com - Laboratory News
Mon, 22 Jun 2015 07:12:36 -0700

DATELINE: ORLANDO, FLORIDA—One big challenge facing medical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups in the United States today is the need to transition from a transaction-based business model (increasing specimen volume leads to increasing ...

Dentistry IQ

Dentistry IQ
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:27:47 -0700

A healthy, 54-year-old, white female presents for evaluation of a painful area on her left and right buccal mucosa. She reports a whitish-red area bilaterally that is tender to the touch. She states it came up slowly over the last two weeks and nothing ...

DARKDaily.com - Laboratory News

DARKDaily.com - Laboratory News
Mon, 15 Jun 2015 03:10:52 -0700

One Arizona medical laboratory focused on collecting from patients who were overdue on amounts averaging just $40 and, in 18 months, collected $3.2 million! In today's clinical laboratory marketplace, competency in revenue management is becoming just ...

Dentistry IQ

Dentistry IQ
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:00:42 -0700

A 53-year-old male presents as a new patient wanting to find a new dentist in the area, as he had recently moved. No current complaints with his teeth. Complete mouth series made with incidental, well-defined, circular, radiolucent area noted between ...

EurekAlert (press release)

EurekAlert (press release)
Mon, 06 Jul 2015 07:37:30 -0700

... that should be studied in greater depth so that it can benefit patients with this disease in the near future," said Enrique de Alava, director of the Unit Management Clinical Pathology Virgen del Rocio Hospital in Seville and Molecular Pathology ...

DARKDaily.com - Laboratory News

DARKDaily.com - Laboratory News
Mon, 06 Jul 2015 03:07:30 -0700

Over the past 15 years, pathologists have watched how radiology has been disrupted by the “nighthawk” model of remote teleradiology services. Now, the nighthawk approach to telepharmacy could disrupt pharmacy as well. As this happens, pathologists ...
Sat, 04 Jul 2015 15:41:15 -0700

Noteworthy: Davoli was named to the American Society for Clinical Pathology's “40 under Forty,” which recognizes pathologists, pathology residents and laboratory professionals who have made significant contributions to the profession and stand out as ...

The Providence Journal

The Providence Journal
Sat, 20 Jun 2015 22:03:45 -0700

Dr. C. James Sung, of Lincoln, has been named director of clinical pathology and laboratory informatics for Care New England. He also serves as the vice chief of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine and director of clinical pathology and ...

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