Pathology dictionary for patients

by the Editors
May 10, 2022


Our patient-friendly pathology dictionary provides definitions for the most common terms and phrases used by pathologists in pathology reports. These definitions describe general concepts. Go here if you would like more information about your diagnosis. Contact us if you have a question about any of the definitions in the dictionary.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Abscess

Acanthosis

Acute inflammation

Addendum

Adenoma

Adenocarcinoma

Adenomyosis

Adenosquamous carcinoma

Adipose tissue

Adrenal gland

Anaplastic

Anemia

Antibody

Apocrine

Apoptosis

Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)

Atrophic

Atrophy

Atypia

Atypical

Atypical mitotic figure

Atypical mitosis​

B

Ballooning hepatocyte

Basal lymphoplasmacytosis

Basaloid neoplasm

Benign

Benign neoplasm

Biopsy

Breast cancer

Breslow thickness

C

Calcification

Carcinoma

Carcinoma in situ

Carcinoid

Cautery artifact

CD20

CD3

CD30

CD34

CD5

CD68

Cholesterol cleft

Cribriform

Chronic inflammation

Chromatin

Colon

Colon cancer

Colonic mucosa

Crohn’s disease

Crypt abscess

Crypt distortion

Cryptitis

Cytokeratin

Cytokeratin 5 (CK5)

Cytokeratin 7 (CK7)

Cytokeratin 20 (CK20)

Cyst

Cytoplasm

D

Desmin

Desmoplasia

DIF

Differentiated

Diffuse

Direct immunofluorescence

Distal

Duct

Dysplasia

E

Edema

Endophytic

Eosinophil

Epithelial cell

Epithelium

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

Epstein-Barr virus-encoded small RNAs (EBER)

Estrogen receptor (ER)

Erosion

Excision

Exophytic

Extranodal extension (ENE)

F

Fibrosis

FISH

Flow

Fluorescence in situ hybridization

Foamy histiocyte

Focal

Frozen section

Fuhrman grade​

G

GATA-3

Gallbladder

Gland

Grade

Granular cell tumour

Granulation tissue

Granuloma

Grocott (GMS)

Gross

Gross description

H

Hamartoma

Helicobacter pylori

H. pylori

Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)

Hematopoietic cells

Heterogeneous

Her2

High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL)

Homogeneous

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Hyams grade

Hypercellular

Hyperchromatic

Hyperchromasia

Hypergranulosis

Hyperkeratosis

Hyperplasia

Hypertrophy

Hypocellular

I

Immunohistochemistry (IHC)

Immunoglobulin

Immunoreactivity

Immunostain

Inadequate

Infiltrative

Infiltration

Inflammation

Inflammatory cell

Isolated tumour cells (ITCs)

Insufficient for diagnosis

Intercellular bridges

Intestinal metaplasia

Intracytoplasmic

In-transit metastasis

In toto

Invasion

J

K

Karyotype

Keratinization

Ki-67

KRAS

L

Lesion

Leukocyte

Limited for interpretation

Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL)

Lymphoid aggregate

Lymphocyte

Lymphocytosis

Lymphovascular invasion (LVI)

Lymphoma

Lymph node

M

Margin

Mass

Malignant

Malignant neoplasm

Melanocyte

Melanoma

Metaplasia

Metastasis

Mesothelial cells

MIB-1

Minimally invasive

Mismatch repair (MMR)

Mitosis

Mitotic figure

Mucosa

Mucin

Mucinous

Mucicarmine

Multifocal

Myxoid

N

Neoplasm

Necrosis

Necrotizing granulomatous inflammation

Negative for malignancy

Neutrophil

Neuroendocrine cell

Neuroendocrine tumour

Non-diagnostic

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-necrotizing granulomatous inflammation

Non-reactive

Non-small cell carcinoma

Nucleus

Nucleoli

O

Oncocytic

Oral cavity

Oropharynx

Osteoid

P

p16

p40

p53

p63

Paneth cell metaplasia

Papillary

PASS score

PAX-8

Periodic Acid Schiff (PAS)

Periodic Acid Schiff plus Diastase (PAS-D)

Parakeratosis

Perineural invasion (PNI)

Plasma cell

Pleomorphic

Polyp

Precursor

Progesterone receptor (PR)

Proximal

Prognosis

Poorly differentiated

Positive for malignancy

pTNM

Q

R

Red blood cells (RBCs)

Reactive

Resection

Ring sideroblasts​

S

S100

Sarcoma

Sarcomatoid

Sentinel lymph node

Signet ring cell

Small bowel mucosa

Solar elastosis

SOX10

Stoma

Stroma

Squamous cell

Squamous cell carcinoma

Special stain

Specimen

Spindle cell

Spindle cell neoplasm

Spongiosis

Spongiotic

Synaptophysin

Syndrome​

Synoptic report

T

Tangentially sectioned

Transformation zone

TTF-1

Tumour

Tumour capsule​

Tumour deposit

Tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs)

Tumour regression

Thyroglobulin

U

Ulcer

Ulcerative colitis

Undifferentiated

Urothelial cell​

Uterus

V

Vasculitis

Viral cytopathic effects

Virus

W

Well-differentiated

X

Xanthoma

Y

Z

A+ A A-