Histology is the study of tissues and organs through examination of their architecture and relationship  with other body tissues…

Study of the diseases of body tissues and organs, such as cancer,  is correctly termed histopathology.

Tissues taken from patients,  either at surgical procedure or at post-mortem are sent to the Histology laboratory for examination.   The picture above shows the macroscopic examination of biopsy specimens,  at which stage tissue material is selected for processing.

Tissue is processed to produce wax blocks from which tissue sections (about three microns thick) are cut.  The sections, on microscope slides,  are stained so that cellular structures and details can be seen using a microscope.

Further or more specialised staining techniques may be required to identify tissue components not readily seen using standard staining technique.

For example:

  • stains to demonstrate micro-organisms such as TB or stains to illustrate damage to connective tissue structure as can be important in liver cirrhosis.
  • immunocytochemistry can be used to identify a tumour or variant of a tumour,  and is increasingly important as an aide to cancer diagnosis and detemining patient treatment.

Systemic Cytology

Cytology is the study of cells, and cytopathology is the study of disease at cellular level.

The cellular component of fluid samples are concentrated by centrifugation.  A stained preparation is made which is examined microscopically.

Cervical Cytology

Cytology is perhaps best known for its role within the National Cervical Screening Programme and the microscopical detection of pre-malignant changes within cells taken from the cervix (neck of the womb)

Mortuary Services

The Trust has two fully operational mortuaries, one at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and one at Bassetlaw Hospital.

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