Cytopathology studies cell structure and cell composition and the interaction of cells with other cells and the larger environment in which they exist. The division of cytopathology provides comprehensive services to the hospital and its clinicians. Gynecologic and non-gynecologic cytology specimens are routinely received and processed. The division accessions approximately 6,500 cases per year, of which approximately 1,950 are non-gynecologic specimens and approximately 1,400 are fine needle aspirates. Fine needle aspiration biopsies are received from multiple sites including deep thoracic and abdominal organs, breast, thyroid, lymph nodes, soft tissue, salivary glands, prostate and brain. Emphasis is placed on cytologic-histologic correlation. In addition, ancillary testing for neoplasia detection, such as immunocytochemistry, electron microscopy, image analysis, and flow cytometry are performed.
An outstanding feature of the FNA aspiration biopsy service is the multidisciplinary team approach. The division is committed to provide quality patient care through collaboration with clinicians from radiology, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, surgery, pediatrics and radiation oncology.
The cytopathology division has a strong commitment to research and is actively involved in teaching at the national level. Faculty are highly engaged in undergraduate medical education as well as residency and fellowship training. Faculty are also involved in pathology graduate programs at ECU and serve as mentors. Other teaching opportunities include weekly surgical pathology/cytology conference, oncology conference and microscopic cytology conference.