Cellular Pathology (Histology and Cytology)

Cellular pathology is the study of disease in organs, tissues and cells. Scientists in this department examine tissue samples taken from patients during surgical operations. They also study samples from post-mortem examinations (the investigations done after a patient has died).

Northern services

Diagnostic Cytopathology is the diagnosis of disease at the cellular level from cells taken from any location except the cervix. It involves the collection, preservation, staining and microscopic examination of cells that have been extracted from the body, mostly in fluid form.

A variety of human diseases can be diagnosed in this way including infections, crystal deposition diseases and benign tumours but the primary aim of the procedure is the diagnosis of cancer and pre-cancer without the need for surgery.

Cell Pathology Secretaries: 01271 349197
Laboratory Enquiries: 012711-322340

Histopathology Secretaries: 01271 349197
Laboratory Enquiries: 012711 322340



Eastern services

The Cellular Pathology laboratory service at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital supports the Trust’s Cancer Centre status for most tumour sites. Most major aspects of pathology are undertaken with the exception of Neuropathology, Bone Tumour Pathology and Paediatric Pathology.

To find out more, visit Exeter Clinical Laboratory website.

Information for healthcare professionals

We have a dedicated section for Healthcare professionals here.

You can also find out more via the Exeter Clinical Laboratory website (Eastern services) or the Pathology Handbook (Northern services). 

Last updated: April 28, 2023.