Pathology is a branch of medical science primarily concerning the cause, origin, and nature of disease. It involves the analysis of tissues, organs, blood serum, urine, uric acid, blood plasma, RBC, WBC, platelets, and sugar levels in order to investigate the defect of a body and to diagnose disease. Autopsies are performed for much the same reasons.
Pathology has been divided into the following sub-branches depending on the types of technique used or the diverse types of diseases studied:
General pathology is a branch of pathology that explains a complex and broad field involving the study of the mechanisms behind cell and tissue organization injury, as well as understanding how the body responds to and repairs injury. In-depth understanding in these areas is applied in the diagnosis of disease. General pathology is also a term used to describe anatomical and clinical pathology.
Anatomical pathology is associated with the study and diagnosis of illness through microscopic examination of samples obtained from bodily fluids, tissues, organs, and sometimes the entire body. Factors that may be examined include the cell appearance, anatomical make up, and chemical structure of the cells.
Clinical pathology plays a vital role in the treatment of disease. It deals with the analysis of blood, urine, and tissue samples of the patient in order to diagnose the disease and investigate the cause of it. The laboratories of clinical pathology provide very important information about blood count, levels of sugar, blood clotting, and any other information about the cause of diseases. In clinical pathology, the pathologist is usually trained in microbiology, hematology, and blood banking.
Biochemistry is a branch of chemistry which investigates all aspects of disease, identifying changes in various substances found in the blood serum and bodily fluids. Some of these would be amino acids, proteins, hormones and electrolytes. A chemical pathologist provides the information about these changes.
Genetics is the branch of biology which deals with the study of genes, chromosomes and genetic material. It includes cytogenetics, which deals with the analysis of abnormalities found in the chromosomes, and molecular genetics, which deals with the study of changes occurring in the base pair of DNA called gene mutation. The pathologist performs tests on the genetic material collected from the nucleus of the blood cell to determine the genetic defect of the body.
Hematology is a field which is concerned with various disease aspects that affect the blood. Blood-related diseases include such things as bleeding disorders, clotting problems, and anemia. Hematologists perform diverse types of tests which are related to the properties of the blood.
Immunology deals with the study of the immune system of the body. The role of the immunologist is to test the immune function of the body in order to establish whether or not a patient is suffering from an allergy. In addition to allergies, many diseases can also arise as a result of the immune system having an abnormal response to the healthy cells or tissues, resulting in an immune attack against them. This is known as an autoimmune disease. There is a wide range of immunological tests that can detect causes of autoimmune diseases.
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