Department of Pathology

Clinical Pathology Division

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Clinical Pathology Division

The Clinical Pathology Division of the Department of Pathology at Westchester Medical Center is located on the main floor (Section J) of the hospital. It provides regular, specialized and urgent services to the patients at the Medical Center as well as the referred patients from the community physicians or other hospitals.

The division is accredited (with distinction) by the College of American Pathologists and has functioned as a reference laboratory for the State of New York. It includes the following laboratories:

  1. The Flow Cytometry laboratory carries out studies on bone marrows, peripheral bloods and lymph nodes on hundreds of patients with leukemias or lymphomas each year. This laboratory also performs large numbers of immune monitoring and HLA tissue typing.
  2. The Transplant-Immunology laboratory supports several active transplantation programs at the Medical Center. These include bone marrow, kidney and liver transplants.
  3. The Special Chemistry laboratory performs numerous specialized procedures on endocrinology, drug monitoring, viral serologies, etc., using radioassays, enzyme immunoassays, radioimmunometric assays, fluorescence polarization, microparticle enzyme immunoassays and chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassays.
  4. The Special Hematology laboratory performs cytochemistries as well as studies on platelet function, plasma coagulation factors and inhibitors, plasma proteins and hemoglobins.
  5. The Special Microbiology-Serology laboratory performs tests to detect antibodies as well as antigens for various infectious agents as well as specialized studies for certain recently defined emerging infectious diseases. This section is also involved in molecular typing of organisms to aid in hospital epidemiology. Findings of this laboratory have been published and presented at the national meetings.
  6. The Cystic Fibrosis Laboratory (sweat testing) is the regional laboratory for diagnosis of cystic fibrosis and performs the largest number of these tests in the state. New methods that have developed in this laboratory for quality assurance have been presented at the national meeting.
  7. The Microbiology-Parasitology-Mycology laboratory uses a wide variety of methods in the study of infectious diseases.
  8. The General Core Laboratory. This laboratory combines the functions of STAT laboratory with that of regular Chemistry, Hematology and Clinical Microscopy laboratories. All functions of this laboratory are available on a 7 days a week and 24 hours a day basis. There are some restrictions on the types of tests performed on the off hours, week-ends and holidays.

Elimination of the STAT laboratory and its inclusion in the General Core laboratory is the result of progressive automation and increase in efficiency of the regular laboratories. As the result, the turn-around times for the regular tests (all of which are monitored on a daily basis) has been reduced to an hour or less. Since this corresponds to the national standards for STAT testing (one hour or less), the need for STAT requests has therefore been obviated.

A "superstat" service is available for certain critical tests (e.g., blood counts, electrolytes, etc.) on hand delivered specimens. The turn-around time on these samples is in minutes. Pre-analytic automation is in place. Automated equipment that will accession, process, centrifuge, aliquot (if necessary), automated track that will bring the specimen to the instrument(s) and automated storage are the features of the pre-analytic automation. Furthermore, consolidation of chemistry and immunochemistry testing will also occur. We expect that with this equipment we will have further improvement of turn-around-time, efficiency and reduced cost.

Educational Activities

In addition to an accredited residency program in Clinical Pathology, the service provides basic training in Laboratory Medicine for the second-year medical students. More advanced training is provided as an elective for the fourth-year students. Training is also provided for Hematology-Oncology fellows and Infectious Diseases fellows.

Goals and Mission of Clinical Pathology Service

Today's practice of medicine in an office or a clinic setting often requires specialized testing. Since most hospital laboratories do not perform these procedures, the samples are sent to reference laboratories and the results become available only after the patient has left the office.

The Clinical Laboratories at the Medical Center perform such specialized tests on an emergency basis through a Rapid Response Regional Laboratory. This provides needed diagnostic service, not otherwise available for regional hospitals, clinics and doctor's offices.


Basic Sciences Building
Valhalla, New York 10595