Clinical pathologists are doctors who specialize in the diagnosis of disease through laboratory analysis of bodily fluids and tissues. They use clinical tools such as chemistry, hematology, microbiology and molecular pathology.
The Blood Bank division of the clinical laboratory performs blood typing and cross-matching and provides blood components for patients who need transfusions. The Blood Bank provides red blood cells, platelets and plasma to treat anemia, bleeding disorders and hemorrhage in trauma and surgery. Additionally, the Blood Bank provides special diagnostic testing for patients with auto-antibodies against their own red blood cells and for pregnant women at risk of making antibodies which could attack their babies' red blood cells.
The Chemistry division is responsible for measuring the levels of various molecules relevant to disease in blood or other bodily fluids. Data generated in the chemistry laboratory are used to monitor a patient’s:
- Health status
- Disease progression
- Drug levels
- Response to treatment
The Cytogenetics Division performs conventional cytogenetic and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis to detect chromosome and gene abnormalities in forms of cancer. These genetic assessments are critical in establishing a diagnosis that helps clinicians determine optimal treatment protocols, in monitoring treatment response and disease status and in determining disease risk stratification and prognosis.
The clinical Flow Cytometry laboratory offers crucial diagnostic data used in management of leukemia, lymphomas and other diseases. The lab measures multiple molecules on or in individual cells that are related to the lineage and differentiation of cells in the blood, bone marrow and lymphoid organs. These measurements are also used by clinicians to monitor a patient’s immune status in the wake of certain treatments.
Hematology and Hematopathology
The Hematology and Hematopathology division measures and evaluates the cells in the blood and also in other bodily fluids, such as cerebrospinal fluid. The data generated in the Hematology lab is used to monitor patient health and to evaluate patients with disease, particularly those with disorders that may affect the blood.
The Hematopathology section provides comprehensive diagnostic expertise in evaluating benign and malignant disorders of the blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes and other tissues. This section is a member of the multidisciplinary team that provides care for patients with hematologic diseases that are seen at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
The Hemostasis/Coagulation division is responsible for measuring the hemostatic properties of blood and platelets in blood relevant to health and disease. This division performs high-volume screening as well as specialized lab testing. Clinicians use data generated here to screen for disorders of hemostasis and thrombosis, and to monitor responses to various replacement, antiplatelet and/or anticoagulation therapies.
The Immunology division is responsible for measuring the levels, in blood and other bodily fluids, of various auto-antibodies (antinuclear antibodies) and other antibodies, paraproteins and anomalous synthesis of immunoglobulins.
The clinical Microbiology laboratory offers state-of-the-art infectious disease laboratory diagnosis and consultation services for clinical staff and physicians.
Our laboratory expertise includes:
- Bacteria identification and susceptibility testing
- Molecular microbiology
- Molecular epidemiology
The Molecular Diagnostics division is responsible for nucleic acid—DNA- and RNA-based—diagnosis in four areas:
- Infectious diseases
- Solid tumors
Team members collaborate with other sub-specialist pathologists to provide integrated, multimodal analyses of genes and tissues in virtually all areas of human health and disease.
The Virology division provides a full range of diagnostic services for the detection and monitoring of viral infections and for the determination of immune response to viral antigen exposure. The data gathered in Virology is used by clinicians to make the diagnosis of viral infection, assess the response to antiviral therapy and to determine a patient's immune status to viral pathogens.