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Review article;3_337

Surgical pathology

Dora Fučkar Čupić ; Zavod za patologiju i patološku anatomiju, Medicinski fakultet Sveučilišta u Rijeci

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page 337-344

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The most important part of pathology work is surgical pathology. Its goal is to diagnose or exclude the clinical diagnosis based on tissue samples. Two main types of tissue samples for pathohistologic analyses are biopsies and surgical resections. There are four main parts used in final diagnosis of tissue samples in surgical pathology: macroscopic exam, pathohistologic analysis, immunohistochemistry and molecular/cytogenetic analysis. The result of pathologists’ work is pathohistologic report, which contains macroscopic and microscopic description of a lesion, diagnosis or differential diagnosis. There are situations when diagnosis needs to be established during surgical procedure, while the patient is under anesthesia, so pathologist uses so called intraoperative biopsy or frozen tissue sections. This is an emergency in pathology practice and it requires good cooperation between surgeons and pathologists. The surgical margins are surfaces that were cut by the surgeon. The distance between the tumour and the margin is called surgical margin. Margins are important as an incompletely removed disease process may lead to reccurrence. What defines a positive surgical margin is dependent on the tumour and its biology; definitions of positive margin are dependent on the anatomical site. One of the most important goals of surgical pathology is diagnosis of malignant diseases and assessment of extent of disease, and not less important, tumour classification, defined by World Health Organization. Pathological classification (p) of malignant diseases (or postsurgical pathohistologic classification) is defined as pTNM (T – tumour, N – lymph node, M – distant metastasis). It is based on presurgical clinical data modified by pathohistological data analysis.


biopsy; extent of disease; frozen sections; resection margins; surgical pathology; TNM classification

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