• Vol. 36 No. 8, 691–697
  • 15 August 2007

Happenings in Histopathology – A Post-World War II Perspective



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There have been several important developments in the practice of histopathology since World War II; those reviewed in this lecture are grouped under 4 headings: new techniques (cytopathology, electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry and molecular pathology), organisational issues (recruitment, training and certification, subspecialties, quality control and consultations), ethical and legal issues (service costs, and the ownership and uses of biopsy tissues) and globalisation (international associations, standardised classification and nomenclature, and telepathology). Advances in the fields of molecular pathology and telepathology are expected to have the greatest impact on the practice of pathology in the next decade.

During the past few decades, there have been many significant developments in the practice of histopathology, the specialty that is also referred to as anatomic pathology, surgical pathology, or simply as pathology without qualification. Those selected for review are grouped under 4 headings: new techniques, organisational developments, ethical and legal issues, and globalisation. World War II was a convenient starting point because it was almost immediately after the war, in the 1940s, that I began my career in this specialty. This will be a general review; it is not based on happenings in any particular institution or country.

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