At the time the Institute for Tuberculosis in Sremska Kamenica was founded in 1960, the Department for Pathology with Cytological Diagnostics was formed as an accompanying diagnostic service. Today, the Centre for Pathology includes laboratories for histopathology, cytology, immunohistochemistry, and an autopsy unit.
The Pathology Centre is predominantly engaged in pathology of the lungs, pleura and mediastinum, and in part in pathology of the digestive tract and thyroid.
About 7-8 thousand cytological examinations are yearly performed in the Centre. The material for cytology includes exfoliative cytology (bronchial washing: bronchial lavage; bronchial brushing; sputum and cytology of the pleural, pericardial and peritoneal effusion) and aspiration cytology (fine needle aspiration cytology - FNA; endobronchial ultra sound guided transbronchial aspiration cytology - EBUS; CT guided transthoracic fine needle aspiration – ТТP, and FNA of peripheral skin lesions and enlarged lymph nodes. When necessary, the rapid on site evaluation - ROSE procedure is also performed to evaluate bronchoscopy obtained cytological samples. In addition, whenever necessary and possible, cell blocks are made of cytological samples to enable immunohistochemistry.
About 11-12 thousand histological examinations are yearly performed in the Centre. The material for histology includes biopsy samples obtained by: bronchial biopsy, transbronchial biopsy (TBB), catheter biopsy (CB - ТBCА), CTguided fine needle biopsy, video assisted transthoracic thoracoscopy (VATS); mediastinoscopy obtained biopsy samples; edge lung excision and resection samples. In the course of most surgeries performed in the Institute for Pulmonary Diseases of Vojvodina, the frozen section (ex tempore) procedure is routinely performed (15-20 in a day), taking usually 7-11 minutes from sample admission to the finding report into the operating theatre.
At present, the Pathology Centre has over 70 immunohistochemical antibodies. About 600-700 immunohistochemistry analyses are yearly performed to diagnose and differentiate between primary and secondary lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma, lymphoma and thymoma
In a year, 50-60 autopsies are performed in the autopsy unit of the Centre. Each autopsied case is presented and discussed at thanatological sessions held weekly throughout a year. The session is attended by all physicians employed in the Institute, as well as those from other health centres specialising in the Institute.
The Centre yearly performs over 100 expert consultative histological and cytological examinations of the samples referred from regional hospitals throughout Vojvodina, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.
Preparation of histological specimens is almost entirely automated, with maximally reduced duration. Preparation of cytological specimens takes from a few minutes (fast staining methods – for intraoperative and urgent cytological assay requested by a clinician), to one hour. Histological findings are provided in 1-5 days, depending on additional analyses required, while cytological findings are available in a few minutes or 48 hour at the maximum. The accuracy of our assays exceeds 99%.
The staff of the Centre currently includes: three specialists in pathology, eight laboratory technicians, three autopsy assistants and two cleaning women. Our two specialists in pathology have also subspecialised in specific fields, one in cytology and the other in clinical pathology, holding a PhD degree as well. One of the three pathologists is a full professor of the Medical Faculty in Novi Sad (Dejan Vuckovic), and the other two are teaching assistants in the election procedure to the title Assistant Professor at the Medical Faculty of Novi Sad (Dragana Tegeltija and Aleksandra Lovrenski). All three physicians are engaged in both the theoretical and practical education in Pathology at the Integrated Medical Studies, carried out in Serbian in English; General and Oral Pathology for Stomatology students studying in Serbian or English, and in Pathology for students of Medical Care and Medical Rehabilitation at the Medical Faculty of Novi Sad. As teachers, they also participate in Doctoral Studies, Specialisation Studies in Pathology and Subspecialisation Studies in Clinical Pathology. Over the last 25-year period, there were 50 physicians who specialised in Pathology at the Centre. Since 2006, the specialisation course in Medical Cytology has also been carried out at the Centre.
Former and present physicians of the Centre have published over 600 professional scientific papers and scores of chapters in books, monographs and handbook manuals. They have also mentored many doctoral, masters and bachelor thesis and participated in regional and national campaigns and projects.