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What is pathology?
The study of disease at various levels including: the whole body, organs or tissues, the cell, sub-cellular
What is understanding pathology fundamental to?
- Understanding how disease works
- Diagnosis of disease
- Treatment of disease
- Disease prevention
What is the definition of disease?
Disease is any alteration from a normal healthy state - whether or not changes are clinically apparent
What are the clinical pathology tests performed on blood, tissues and fluids to aid clinical diagnosis?
- Clinical biochemistry
- Cytology / fluid cytology
What are the roles of the anatomic pathologist?
- Biopsy - tissue sections from live animals are surgery, determine the cause of the disease process or processes involved in the lesion development, inform case management
- Necropsy / post mortem examinations - determine the disease process of processes that lead to death, investigation of unexpected death, identification of emerging diseases, disease surveillance
What are the steps involved in the identification of a mass?
- 1 - fine needle aspirate
- 2 - smear
- (1 and 2 are clinical pathology)
- 3 - routine histology with H&E
- (3 is anatomical pathology)
What is aetiology?
The underlying cause of disease
What is pathogenesis?
The sequence of events in lesion development (which are dependent on causal agent and host response)
What is aetiopathogenesis?
Combines the underlying cause and the sequence of events in pathogenesis
What are examples of internal aetiological agents?
- Genetic - defects or mutations
- Immune system - defects or normal responses
- Ageing - natural processes or premature ageing
What are examples of external aetiological agents?
- Physical - trauma, pressure
- Chemical - toxins, poisons, heavy metals
- Infectious - viruses, prions, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, algae, metazoan parasites
- Environmental - nutrition (deficiencies or excesses), temperature, hygiene, radiation
What is a congenital disease?
A disease that is present at birth. Aetiological agent acts on embryo / foetus / placenta / uterus / dam before or during pregnancy
What is an acquired disease?
A disease that develops during an animals life due to effects of one or more aetiological agents
What is an idiopathic disease?
A disease that has no (yet) known cause
What is a iatrogenic disease?
A disease that develops directly following medical or surgical intervention
What factors can modify the course of a disease?
- Immune system
- Other disease
- Environmental factors
- Some drugs e.g. steroids decrease inflammation but inhibit immune responses and healing
What is the definition of diagnosis?
A concise statement or conclusion concerning the nature, cause or name of a disease
What are the normal post mortem changes?
- Algor mortis - cooling
- Rigor mortis - rigidity (muscles are in a contracted state 1-6 hours after death but this normally disappears after 1-2 days)
- Livor mortis - hypostatic congestion
- Post mortem clotting
- Autolysis - tissue breakdown due to lack of oxygen
- Putrefaction - dead tissue invaded by anaerobic saprophytic bacteria which digest tissue proteins
What is an artefact?
A structure or appearance that is not natural but due to man-made manipulation
What is a morphological diagnosis?
A diagnosis which summarises predominant lesions / structural changes
What is an aetiological diagnosis?
A diagnosis that comes after the discovery o the specific causal agent
What is the definition of prognosis?
Statement of the likely outcome of a condition. Can be good / excellent (complete resolution of lesions), uncertain / guarded (lesion might resolve or might get worse), or poor / grave (animal not expected to recover).
What are the major processes of pathology?
- Tissue repair
- Nutritional / metabolic dysfunction
- Necrosis / apoptosis
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