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The Anatomy Department studies diseases through direct microscope observation of tissues (biopsies, surgical samples, clinical autopsies) and body fluids (cytologies, fine needle aspiration punctures), to obtain the most accurate diagnoses to ensure proper treatment of the illness. Our mission is to offer the patient all the benefits of the best in medical, prognostic and predictive diagnosis using the most advanced molecular technologies.
Surgical pathology and cytopathology are a key part of diagnosing patients receiving treatment at our hospital. Our pathologists are highly specialised in a diverse range of pathologies, are internationally recognised and are leaders in the different fields of anatomopathological diagnosis. Our professionals can be found on commissions, committees and clinical management teams throughout the Hospital. We have a wide range of technological resources, histochemical and immunohistochemical techniques, electronic microscopy and molecular pathology, which means we can carry out morphological diagnosis with both prognostic data and treatment targets, which form the basis ofpersonalised medicine. We also perform diagnosis reviews with second opinions for samples from other centres.
We receive the highest volume of samples of all Catalan public hospitals (more than 90,000 biopsy and cytology samples a year). We are a leading centre, and are proud to receive the most complex and specialised pathologies in all clinical and surgical areas. Our focus is on:
We are leading and/or actively participating in multiple research projects, both in collaboration with other hospital research departments and units as well as in national and international multi-centre clinical studies and trials.
We have a basic research unit at the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute that pursues several lines of research into cancer pathology. Our research into foetal and developmental pathology should also be highlighted.
We have a Tumour Bank and a Foetal Tissue Bank, as well as a Brain Bank, which are all part of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital Biobank (HUVH Biobank).
Thanks to the availability of advanced technology and the collective experience of our pathologists in interpreting tissue disease, we play a key role in the translational research by the various applied clinical research groups at the Hospital.
We offer undergraduate and postgraduate education with comprehensive educational opportunities for students of the Autonomous University of Barcelona’s (UAB) Faculty of Medicine, practicum for biology and biotechnology students, as well as participating in various UAB master's degrees, and directing Doctoral Theses within the Doctorate in Surgery and Morphological Sciences Programme at the UAB.
We also host practicum for professional training for specialists in pathological anatomy and cytodiagnostics, from different schools and colleges in Barcelona.
Our teaching unit is accredited by the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality for specialist training of 3 residents a year in the pathological anatomy specialty. This training lasts for 4 years and consists of rotation between the areas of knowledge pertaining to the specialty, such as autopsy pathology, surgical pathology, cytopathology and molecular pathology. Residents have the possibility of taking part in research projects in the field as part of their training. The Department promotes their attendance at scientific congresses and events where they can present the results of their studies, and actively promotes their participation in scientific publications. We encourage the 4th year resident to complete a three-month training period in a leading European or American Pathological Anatomy department in one of the areas of knowledge in order to provide them with complementary training.
For professionals working in our department we organise continuing education refresher courses in pathological anatomy to promote innovation in clinical health care. We organise training placements for both domestic and foreign professionals, especially in transplant pathology, paediatric pathology and molecular pathology.
The Pathological Anatomy Teaching Unit is made up of pathological anatomy professionals from the Internal Medicine Department at the General Hospital. The Unit's healthcare activity is divided by specialisation with a total of 20 pathologists working in parallel with the clinical team. A modernized and young department dedicated to specialised training, with translational research by specialisation and a teaching role in the medicine and biomedicine degrees.
Pathological anatomy training itinerary
The Unit's activities include tissue processing techniques using microscopic and macro photography, the most common types of autopsy and biopsy, and foetal and infant paediatric autopsy in particular. The Gynaecology Unit also carries out cytology tests and attends intraoperative biopsies in rotation.
The Transplant Pathology Unit carries out protocol and monitoring biopsies, designed to be a procedure for fast diagnosis and treatment in cases of transplant rejection.
Duty shifts are carried out in surgical pathology at the hospital, in addition to processing surgical pieces and samples for the Foetal Tissue Bank, and carrying out autopsies during duty shifts.
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