About pathology

Pathology touches people at every stage of life.

Even before we’re born, antenatal screening helps provide insights on our development and well being. Shortly after birth, every Australian newborn receives a heel prick test that screens for serious genetic conditions.

Pathology continues to play a role throughout childhood, adulthood and old age. It helps diagnose and treat infections, viruses, allergies, chronic diseases, cancer and countless other medical conditions.  Pathology also provides the answers families need when faced with the unexpected and unexplained loss of a loved one. 

Types of pathology

There are several areas of pathology practice, related either to the methods used to test tissue samples or to the type of diseases being investigated. They include:

  • Anatomical Pathology (the diagnosis of disease from examining tissue samples and cellular smears; includes Histopathology / Cytopathology)
  • Chemical Pathology (the use of chemical analysis to test tissue, blood and body fluid samples)
  • Forensic Pathology (the process of identifying the cause of death and reconstructing the circumstances by which the death occurred) 
  • Genetics (the diagnosis of genetic conditions from tissue, blood and body fluid samples)
  • Haematology (the testing of blood, blood cells and blood products)
  • Immunopathology (the examination of tissue, blood and body fluid samples for immune responses associated with disease)
  • Microbiology (the study of microscopic organisms in tissue, blood and body fluids)

For information about our forensic science services, click here.

What do your pathology tests look for?

To find out more about your pathology tests and how they help your doctor make a diagnosis, rule out possible diseases, monitor the effectiveness of treatment or even guide a surgical procedure, visit Lab Tests Online-Australasia.

This award-winning, not-for-profit website has been developed to provide accurate, unbiased and trustworthy information you need to understand your pathology tests.

The aim is that by getting to grips with the pathology of your condition you’ll be better equipped to have productive conversations with your clinical team and as a result be able to make informed decisions about your health. There’s now a wealth of evidence to show that people who play an active part in their healthcare generally make better progress.

Information on Lab Tests Online-Au is written by some of Australia’s leading pathologists and scientists and is accredited by the international agency, the Health On The Net (HON) Foundation. The website is developed and managed by the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB) with support from the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) and is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

Lab Tests Online-Au‘s new free app has been rated ‘must have’ by leading GP news magazine, Medical Observer, which stated: “Lab Tests Online-Au is so useful, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it in the past”. It can be downloaded from iTunes and PlayStore.

For more information contact the Strategic Communications team
or p. 02 4920 4000