Clinical Pathology includes the disciplines of Clinical Chemistry, Hematology and Coagulation, Transfusion Medicine and Microbiology.
Technologists prepare tissues and cells, and pathologists review and diagnose them.
Clinical Chemistry measures substances in the blood and body fluids that aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases, such as diabetes and heart attacks.
Hematology and Coagulation
Hematology is the study of blood and its disorders. It looks specifically at blood components such as blood count, blood and bone marrow cells. Hematology tests can help diagnose anemia, other blood disorders and leukemia. Coagulation tests help to evaluate bleeding and clotting disorders and to monitor anticoagulation (anti-clotting) therapies.
The role of Transfusion Medicine is to prepare blood and blood components for all patients requiring transfusion. Transfusions may be used in surgical cases and in the treatment of cancer. Testing includes typing for blood group and Rh. Rh testing is especially important in identifying pregnant women who are Rh negative and require an injection of RH Immune Globulin (Rhogam). This injection can prevent serious complications for the new baby in these women.
Microbiology identifies organisms causing infections and the correct drugs needed to treat them. Routine testing is performed at the Shared Hospital Laboratory, a Microbiology laboratory co-owned by North York General Hospital, The Scarborough Hospital and Toronto East General Hospital. To assist us in providing integrated care, the Director of the Microbiology Lab is also the Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control. As well, there is ongoing microbiological surveillance with Pharmacy Services to ensure the most appropriate antibiotic treatments are given to patients to optimize health outcomes.
Anatomic Pathology provides information to the surgeons and physicians on the presence or absence and types of cancer and other abnormalities of all organ systems. Anatomic Pathology includes the disciplines of Histopathology and Cytopathology.
Histopathology examines and evaluates tissues removed by physicians during surgery for example during biopsies and large surgical resections. An essential component of histopathology is the Immunohistochemistry (IHC) laboratory. This area refers to the process of detecting antigens (e.g. proteins) in cells of a tissue section by exploiting the principle of antibodies specifically to antigens or biological tissues. Immunohistochemical staining is widely used in the diagnosis of abnormal cells such as those found in cancerous tumors.”
Cytopathology looks at cells removed in liquid or small biopsies called fine needle aspirates or needle biopsies (e.g. diseases of the thyroid, lung, gynecologic organs, kidney and lymph nodes).
Technologists prepare tissues and cells, and pathologists review and diagnose them. We have clinical specialists on staff including a clinical biochemist, microbiologist and a hemopathologist who provide clinical interpretations and support for the physicians and nursing staff.