The study of disease. Pathology has been defined as “that branch of medicine which treats of the essential nature of disease.” The word “pathology” comes from the Greek words “pathos” meaning “disease” and “logos” meaning “a treatise” = a treatise of disease. The word “pathology” is sometimes misused to mean disease as, for example, “he didn’t find any pathology” (meaning he found no evidence of disease). A medical doctor that specializes in pathology is called a pathologist. Pathologists are experts at interpreting microscopic views of body tissues.
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The medical science, and specialty practice, concerned with all aspects of disease, but with special reference to the essential nature, causes, and development of abnormal conditions, as well as the structural and functional changes that result from the disease processes. [patho- + G. logos, study, treatise]
- anatomic p. the subspecialty of p. that pertains to the gross and microscopic study of organs and tissues removed for biopsy or during postmortem examination, and also the interpretation of the results of such study. SYN: pathological anatomy.
- cellular p. 1. the interpretation of diseases in terms of cellular alterations, i.e., the ways in which cells fail to maintain homeostasis; 2. sometimes used as a synonym for cytopathology (1).
- clinical p. 1. any part of the medical practice of p. as it pertains to the care of patients; 2. the subspecialty in p. concerned with the theoretical and technical aspects ( i.e., the methods or procedures) of chemistry, immunohematology, microbiology, parasitology, immunology, hematology, and other fields as they pertain to the diagnosis of disease and the care of patients, as well as to the prevention of disease.
- comparative p. the p. of diseases of animals, especially in relation to human p..
- dental p. SYN: oral p..
- functional p. p. pertaining to abnormalities in function of a tissue, organ, or part, with or without associated changes in structure.
- humoral p. the thesis that disorders in the fluids of the body, especially the blood, are the basic factors in disease.
- medical p. p. pertaining to various diseases not suitable for treatment by surgery.
- molecular p. the study of biochemical and biophysical cellular mechanisms as the basic factors in disease.
- oral p. the branch of dentistry concerned with the etiology, pathogenesis, and clinical, gross, and microscopic aspects of oral and paraoral disease, including oral soft tissues, the teeth, jaws, and salivary glands. SYN: dental p..
- speech p. the science concerned with functional and organic speech defects and disorders. SYN: speech-language p..
- speech-language p. SYN: speech p..
- surgical p. a field in anatomical p. concerned with examination of tissues removed from living patients for the purpose of diagnosis of disease and guidance in the care of patients.

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pa·thol·o·gy -jē n, pl -gies
1) the study of the essential nature of diseases and esp. of the structural and functional changes produced by them
2) the anatomic and physiological deviations from the normal that constitute disease or characterize a particular disease
3) a treatise on or compilation of abnormalities <a new \pathology of the eye>

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the study of disease processes with the aim of understanding their nature and causes. This is achieved by observing samples of blood, urine, faeces, and diseased tissue obtained from the living patient or at autopsy, by the use of X-rays, and by many other techniques. (See biopsy.) Clinical pathology is the application of the knowledge gained to the treatment of patients.

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pa·thol·o·gy (pə-tholґə-je) [patho- + -logy] 1. the branch of medicine that studies the essential nature of disease, especially the structural, biochemical, and functional changes in the cells, tissues, and organs of the body that cause or are caused by disease. 2. the structural and functional manifestations of disease.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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