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Anatomic Pathology

The front desk for Surgical Pathology (650-723-7211) is open 7:30am – 6:00pm M-F, closed weekends and major holidays.

Customer Service is available 24/7 to obtain copies of lab report(s) at toll free at 1-877-717-3733.

Any assistance after-hours can be obtained by paging the Surgical Pathology fellow on-call Internal pager #: 12642 (YELLOW PHONE# (650) 498-7279)

Anatomic Pathology (AP) is comprised of several laboratories that provide testing and services for Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford Children’s Health, numerous hospitals in the Bay area, and consult services locally, nationally and internationally. The department provides a monthly Quality Assurance meeting with faculty, residents, management, and department supervisors. In addition, there are bi-weekly supervisory staff meetings, monthly sectional staff meetings and a quarterly all AP staff meeting where any pertinent issues are discussed to keep each employee informed of departmental and hospital wide changes.

The Operations area of Surgical Pathology is comprised of several sections providing assistance to staff, residents and faculty. The front office staff is responsible for answering phones, faxing and mailing reports, sending back consultation slide/blocks, filing slides and paging residents for frozen specimen procedures.


The Laboratory of Cytopathology performs diagnostic evaluations of cytologic specimens from both inpatients and outpatients at Stanford Hospital and LPCH as well as from patients seen in clinics in the surrounding communities. We process all types of cervical cytology (Pap) specimens including SurePath, ThinPrep and conventional. Non-gynecologic exfoliative specimens include pleural and peritoneal fluids, bronchoalveolar lavage, urine, and CSF. Fine needle aspiration biopsy specimens include both biopsies obtained by palpation performed by pathologists or the treating physicians, and image-guided biopsies (e.g. CT-guided and ultrasound-guided including endoscopic and endobronchoscopic ultrasound-guided). In addition, ancillary tests are performed on many of the cytologic specimens which require appropriate triage of the material submitted. The ancillary tests available in-house include HPV (Digene HybridCapture 2), gonorrhea/chlamydia, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and molecular diagnostics.

We are staffed with three prep lab technicians who process the specimens and five experienced cytotechnologists who screen the cytologic specimens, perform immediate adequacy assessments for image-guided FNA specimens, and actively participate in the educational program for the pathology residents and cytology fellows. Our cytotechnologists are certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP), licensed by the State of California and participate annually in an accredited proficiency testing program.

Electron Microscopy/Immunofluorescence

The Electron microscopy Laboratory processes specimens for electron microscopy (EM) and immunofluorescence (IF) testing. In addition to samples from SHC and LPCH, we process specimens received from several hospitals, nephrology and dermatology practices in the Bay area.

The specimens processed for EM are mainly kidney, muscle, nerve, skin, heart and cilia. We also receive occasional cases of malignant tumors and liver biopsies for EM evaluation. The electron microscope is required whenever it is necessary to view structures too small to be seen by light microscopy alone. The EM allows us to greatly magnify structures in order to visualize their substructures and location and thus aid in the diagnosis. Immunofluorescence staining techniques are used to determine the presence or absence of certain antibodies associated with disease processes. Although majority of cases are kidney biopsies, we also perform IF staining on skin and heart biopsies. Our staff is comprised of three senior EM technologists and one lab technician.


The Accessioning area is staffed by six accessioners who are responsible for receiving specimens from the SHC operating room, the LPCH operating room, the Ambulatory Surgery Center, numerous clinics, out-patient clinics and consult cases locally, nationally and internationally. The accessioners, match the specimens to the requisitions, check that all necessary patient information is provided, enter the patient data into the PowerPath LIS system, label the specimen containers and requisitions prior to transferring them to the appropriate staff for processing or examination.


The Histology laboratory is responsible for the production of slides for microscopic examination.  Tissue specimens are processed and embedded in paraffin, cut into five- micron sections and mounted on glass slides. The slides are then stained using routine chemical dyes, coverslipped and viewed by residents and faculty to determine a diagnosis. We also provide technical support services for residents and faculty performing frozen section and Mohs procedures. The neuropathology portion of our laboratory performs specialized neuropathology stains on nerve and brain tissue, as well as testing of muscle biopsies.


Stanford Dermatopathology is a complex operation which provides services in dermatopathology to a wide arena of clients, including Stanford Dermatology, private practice dermatologists, and pathologists who send us consultations. We currently have two board certified dermatopathologists and one administrative assistant who serves as our primary client interface. We provide histologic interpretation as well as state-of-the-art immunohistochemical, immunofluorescence, and electron microscopy laboratory services. The latter two services are specialized, only offered by a few laboratories nationwide. We are a nationally known referral center for the diagnosis of epidermolysis bullosa, a rare but important congenital blistering disorder that is often diagnosed first in newborns. We also have an expertise in cutaneous lymphoma, and this comprises the bulk of our consultative services. Our research program is growing, and we often publish seminal work in the field of cutaneous lymphoma. Our mission is to provide expert diagnostic services rapidly with accurate clinico-pathologic correlation. To this end, we often coordinate information between the clinician who sees the patient and the pathologist who is asking for expert advice. This makes our service unique among the dermatopathology services offered in the Bay Area.


The Stanford Immunodiagnosis Service provides an extensive number of immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization tests. We are committed to provide the highest quality immunohistochemistry stains and interpretation and to serve as competent and easily available consultants to our referring pathologists and clinicians. The laboratory provides our tests and techniques for translational, clinical, and basic science research. We also train future academic and community based pathologists in immunodiagnosis. We strive to advance the understanding and diagnosis of human diseases through the use of immunologic markers.

The Immunohistochemistry laboratory is responsible for the preparation and staining of slides by immunohistochemical and/or in-situ methodologies for review by residents and faculty. Immunohistochemistry is the localization of antigens or proteins in tissue sections by the use of labeled antibodies as specific reagents through antigen-antibody interactions that are visualized by a marker such as enzymes. The department has recently validated two new platforms for testing. Our staff includes 2 immunohistotechnologists and one relief histotechnologist.





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