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Laboratory Medicine & Pathology

Diagnostic services with the most modern available technologies

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Quality service. Quick and accurate results. Smart care.

Model of Excellence

With over 87,000 diagnostic services cases per year, our skilled lab technicians are experts, and they’re committed to the timely, accurate delivery of test results.

Respected Resource

Our confidential and timely diagnostic services are in demand not just with patients, but physicians, hospitals and laboratories across the Puget Sound region.

Convenience is Key

Get tested at any of our five UW Medicine hospital and Primary Care lab locations and have same- or next-day results delivered to your inbox.

Featured Provider

Meet the provider: Eric Huang, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Huang is a board-certified clinical cytopathologist who works with patients at Harborview Medical Center. Dr. Huang received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and has a number of published works, including chapters in pathology text books. 

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Some of our common services:

Combined with a physical examination and medical history, allergy tests check to see if your immune system overreacts to a substance you inhale, touch or eat.

This is the analysis of human tissue, bone and fluids to diagnose, treat and prevent disease. UW Medicine Pathology offers a full range of clinical diagnostic services in anatomic and surgical pathology, autopsy and the following specialty areas: collagen diagnostics, cytogenetics, gastrointestinal/hepatic pathology, dermatopathology, electron microscopy, flow cytometry, HPV and cytology, histology, immunohistochemistry, bone and soft tissue, breast/GYN, neuropathology and renal pathology.

Our board-certified faculty and technical staff provide timely and accurate diagnostics, as well as consultative and clinical services. Our team examines over 87,000 anatomic pathology cases each year and serves as a reference lab for numerous hospitals and regional clinicians.

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Guided by ultrasound, fine needle aspiration, or biopsy, collects a sample of microscopic cells of tissue or fluid from abnormal tissue for analysis and diagnosis. This biopsy is usually used to confirm or rule out cancer.

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This is the analysis of the structure and function of a single cell or small cluster of cells. Cytopathology plays an important part in screening and diagnosing for cancer. It may also be used to look for viral infections.

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With treatment protocols for breast cancer dependent upon specific characteristics of the disease, an accurate diagnosis is critical to establishing effective treatment for patients. Our dedicated breast pathologists are committed to providing outstanding diagnostic specialty medical care to the community, are actively involved in research in breast and gynecologic pathology and are preparing tomorrow's physicians, scientists and other health professionals in the field.

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Surgical dermatopathology provides diagnosis on biopsies from the mucosal membranes, skin and adjacent soft tissues. In this effort we work closely with dermatologists, internists, surgeons, and oncologists to assure the best diagnosis and treatment plan for our patients. Our expert consultation services feature proven diagnostic protocols, innovative technology and exemplary customer service.

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Neuropathology provides diagnostic support to clinical service within neurosurgery, neurology, neuro-oncology and ophthalmology. Our services span all of diagnostic neuropathology, including developmental, ocular, muscle and peripheral nerve, degenerative, and surgical neuropathology. The division's research laboratories study degenerative diseases of the central nervous system -- particularly Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease -- stroke, neoplasia, and epilepsy.

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These tests help prevent and detect health problems in their early stages. The UW Department of Laboratory Medicine has the largest test menu of any laboratory in the Pacific Northwest and is a leader in test development, quality and interpretation. A full menu of testing choices is available in all major laboratory disciplines including hematology, coagulation, chemistry, immunology, microbiology, virology, molecular diagnostics and genetics. All clinical lab tests are available to UW Medicine patients at multiple locations, as well as to outside medical facilities through our Reference Laboratory Services, which can be reached at 206.520.4600.

UW Laboratory Medicine has led the fight against COVID-19 by being one of the first laboratories in the country to begin testing to detect current COVID-19 infections. As of June 2020, UW Laboratory Medicine has performed testing on more than a quarter of a million samples. We offer both the test to detect current COVID-19 infection as well as the test that detects COVID-19 antibodies. 

COVID-19 Qualitative PCR 
This test uses a swab to detect a current COVID-19 infection. 

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COVID-19 Antibody (IgG) 
This test uses a blood sample to detect antibodies for COVID-19. 

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This is the study of chromosomes, which contain most of our genetic information. Cytogenetics looks for changes in certain chromosomes that may display a sign of a genetic disease, condition or type of cancer. Cytogenetics can also be used to plan treatments and check a treatment’s effectiveness.

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Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)

FISH is a technique used to find abnormalities in a person's chromosomes as well as other genetic mutations. This technique has a higher sensitivity and speed than other genetic diagnostic tests. FISH has proven significant in the research and diagnosis of blood and lymph system cancers.

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The genetics and solid tumor lab offer DNA-based testing for a variety of different genetic disorders.

UW-OncoPlex tumor sequencing

UW-OncoPlexTM is a cancer profiling test developed by UW faculty in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. The test uses next-generation “deep” sequencing of a patient’s tumor to detect characteristic genetic changes. More than 350 genes related to cancer treatment, prognosis, risk, and diagnosis are tested.

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Cancer Risk Panels: BROCA and ColoSeq

The BROCATM panel was one of the firsts tests available to determine if a patient has an increased risk of getting cancer due to a genetic alteration. This test sequences several different genes known to increase cancer risk, including BRCA1 and BRCA2.

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The ColoSeqTM panel is a comprehensive genetic test for hereditary colon cancer that includes genes known to causes diseases such as Lynch Syndrome.

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Non-invasive prenatal screening

This new type of prenatal screening is a maternal blood test that uses cell-free DNA to assess the risk that a baby will be born with certain genetic abnormalities.

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To learn more about other genetic testing, visit the Genetics Division Website.

As of July 1, 2020 the Department of Laboratory Medicine and the Department of Pathology have merged to form the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. You can find more information about our Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology services using the links below. 

Anatomic Pathology 

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Clinical Pathology

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EM is used to capture finely detailed images of specimens at a cellular level. The images can provide crucial information about the structure and mechanisms of diseases.

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Some diseases look alike under a microscope. IHC detects specific molecules on cells, which helps differentiate diseases such as cancer. It is also used to help diagnose diseases.

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Search the catalog of clinical laboratory tests offered by the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Washington. 

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This rapidly growing division consists of separate sections devoted to infectious disease, genetics, solid tumors, hematopathology and virology. The molecular microbiology laboratory provides real-time PCR and DNA sequence-based testing for hospitals and clinics from all over the world. Our approaches provide highly accurate, rapid and sensitive capture of genomic information which, when integrated with the traditional discipline of clinical microbiology, enables robust diagnoses and provides accurate descriptions of new and emerging microbial pathogens.

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This is the study of disease-causing microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. These microorganisms are also studied to determine their sensitivity to antibiotics and other treatments.

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Inform yourself to make the best choices for your health and care with UW Medicine patient education resources.

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Support is an important part of your care beyond treatment. Support groups and community resources can help you and your loved ones through your medical journey and recovery.

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Doctors use genetic tests to check for mutations in a person’s genes. The tests are done with a sample of blood, saliva or tissue. If doctors find a mutation, they may determine whether a disease can be prevented or treated, or if it needs to be managed and monitored. The UW Medicine Center for Precision Diagnostics (CPDx) is a state-of-the-art genetic testing program that works with clinicians, families and researchers to provide accurate and fast results with superior customer service at a competitive price.

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A cytometer is used to measure the physical and chemical characteristics of individual cells as they flow past a laser light source in a stream of liquid. It is commonly used to diagnose health conditions, particularly diseases of the blood or GI tract.

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Toxicology screens are tests that identify the type and amount of legal or illegal drugs a patient has taken. This test helps the care team determine the level of treatment the patient needs or whether he or she is recovering properly.

This test helps check your urine for urinary tract infection, kidney problems and diabetes. Urinalysis is also used to monitor other medical conditions as well as treatments. We have five urinalysis locations across the Puget Sound region for your convenient testing needs.