General and clinical pathology

About the department:
The Department of General and Clinical Pathology is a diagnostic unit where histological, histochemical, immunohistochemical, cytological and autopsy activities are routinely performed. The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to maximise automation of the workflow and to ensure quality and timely diagnosis. The team is composed of medical laboratory technicians and specialist physicians, with the possibility of training specialist physicians.

The daily practice in the department includes the application of modern approaches. The main activity is related to the processing of biopsy samples (tissue materials removed surgically). It is carried out through a semi-automated work cycle, which ensures the speed and quality of individual procedures. After examination under a light microscope, the pathologist provides a histological result including a description of the observations and a diagnosis based on them.

The department is capable of emergency intra-operative diagnostics (the so-called Geffryn examination), in which microscopic evaluation of frozen tissues is performed during surgical intervention. This type of activity allows the determination of the nature of the biological process (e.g. inflammatory, tumor – benign or malignant, etc.), which is crucial for the extent of surgical intervention.

The pathology laboratory has a wide panel of special histochemical stains and immunohistochemical markers, which greatly assists in the correct diagnosis of diseases.

Based on the immunohistochemical method, established predictive biomarkers (including PD-L1, ALK, ER, PR, HER2, MMR-associated proteins) clinically relevant for subsequent personalized therapy in patients with malignant processes (including lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, etc.) are routinely determined.

Cytological examinations of surgical, endocrinological and gynaecological samples are part of the daily activities in the pathology laboratory. Microscopic evaluation of cellular elements in spontaneously separated materials or those obtained with the help of instruments (including those obtained from punctures, lavages, aspirates, etc.) is performed. Thyroid cytological examination supports the subsequent diagnostic and therapeutic approach in patients, and further correlation with clinical, ultrasound and laboratory findings is necessary. Cervical cytology (the so-called PAP test) and liquid-based cytology have an important role in the prevention and early diagnosis of precancerous and cancerous diseases in this anatomical area. The laboratory has software-based analysis of cytology specimens.

The laboratory team is also involved in consultative work on tissue and cell samples initially processed and diagnosed in other pathology units. It is also possible to digitize microscopic preparations and perform telepathology consultations.

In order to maintain and improve the quality of diagnostic activities, the laboratory regularly participates in external controls to foreign institutions such as NordiQC, UK NEQAS, QuIP.

Autopsy activity is also an integral part of pathology work. Deceased patients are examined post-mortem, and their disease processes are investigated by macroscopic analysis, with subsequent application of the diagnostic capabilities described above.

The team of the Department of General and Clinical Pathology works daily in close collaboration with the “Laboratory of Medical Genetics”, the “Clinic of Medical Oncology” as well as with all surgical units. On a weekly basis, the pathologists participate in a multidisciplinary tumor board (oncology boards), where a comprehensive approach is applied to the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients with oncological diseases.