Back to Top Anatomical Pathology - The Ottawa Hospital


The Division of Anatomical Pathology is responsible for examining all specimens removed from living patients for diagnostic purposes and for determining the cause of death of the deceased (Autopsy Pathology). Tissues such as breast or prostate biopsies (Surgical Pathology) and cell samples such as “Pap smears” (Cytopathology) are examined under the microscope by pathologists, who then issue diagnostic reports on them.Anatomical Pathology

Pathologists are medical doctors who are specialists in the diagnosis of diseases in tissue samples using a variety of techniques. The preparation of these specimens is the responsibility of trained laboratory technologists and pathologist’s assistants. Medical transcriptionists transcribe the final reports for the patient’s physician.

The information given in these reports provides much more than just the diagnosis, especially in cases of cancer where additional features of the tumours are used to provide more specific and effective therapy by the treating physicians.

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Last updated on: December 9th, 2016