Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Histology (SLS300)

10 credits

Aim of this module

This module will provide the trainee with knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice of histology as applied to clinical medicine. They will be expected to apply this knowledge and understanding in the workplace as they use a range of histological techniques and gain experience of interpreting results from patient investigations.

  1. Receive, prepare and process specimens for histopathological investigation. To include dissection, tissue selection cutting, fixation and staining, as appropriate.
  2. Select the appropriate demonstration technique in the investigation of representative histopathology specimens.
  3. Use microscopic examination techniques to investigate histopathological specimens.
  4. Recognise normal cellular morphology of representative tissues and organs and common pathobiological processes associated with them.
  5. Comply with quality assurance processes associated with histopathological investigations.
Number Work-based learning outcome Title Knowledge
1 1,5

Receive, label and store of a wide range of histopathology specimens.

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2 1

Prepare and use a microtome on a range of tissue samples within different embedding materials.

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3 2

Apply the haematoxylin and eosin staining technique to a variety of tissue samples.

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4 2

Select the appropriate tinctorial and/or histochemical staining techniques required to demonstrate a specific disease process using appropriate control material.

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5 2

Select the appropriate impregnation techniques required to demonstrate a specific disease process using appropriate control

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6 3

Set up and use light microscopy at various magnifications in the investigation of a range of tissue specimens.

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7 4

Select the appropriate enzyme histochemical techniques required to demonstrate a specific disease process using appropriate control material.

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8 4

Select the appropriate immunohistochemical and/or immunofluorescence techniques and antibodies to demonstrate a specific disease process using appropriate control material.

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9 4

Select the appropriate molecular techniques, markers and reagents required to demonstrate a specific disease process using appropriate control material.

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10 1,2,3,4

Produce a basic interpretative report on histopathology investigations.

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11 1,2,5

Control infection risks in accordance with departmental protocols.

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12 1,2,5

Minimise risks and hazards in compliance with health and safety policies.

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You must complete
1 Case-based discussion(s)
1 of the following DOPS / OCEs
Assessment Title Type
Label and storage of a wide range of histopathology specimens DOPS
Select and use decalcifying agents on appropriate specimens DOPS
Prepare and use a microtome on a range of tissue samples within different embedding materials DOPS
Perform Haematoxylin and eosin staining technique on a variety of tissue samples DOPS
Set up and use light microscopy at various magnifications in the investigation of a range of tissue specimens DOPS

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe and recognise normal the cellular morphology of specified tissues and organs and relate these to the pathobiological processes associated with them.
  2. Describe the receipt, preparation and processing of specimens for histopathological diagnosis.
  3. Describe the appropriate demonstration technique as part of the diagnostic process.
  4. Explain and evaluate microscopical examination techniques.
  5. Describe and evaluate the application of quality assurance methodologies to histopathology.
  6. Discuss the purpose and process of preparation and interpretation of clinical diagnostic reports.
  7. Discuss the partnership of histopathology with other clinical specialisms in histological investigation and contribution to patient care.

Indicative Content

  • Normal cellular morphology and ultrastructure of specified tissues and organ systems, including skin, building on basic anatomy and physiology
  • Introduction to tissue preparation techniques
  • Specimen acquisition, viability, collection and delivery
  • Principles and practice of fixation
    • Principles of specimen dissection and block selection
    • Tissue processing and embedding techniques
    • Pre-treatment, e.g. decalcification
    • Macrophotography
  • Introduction to demonstration techniques and their rationale and hazards
    • Haematoxylin and eosin
    • Special stains to identify individual tissue/cellular components, e.g. connective tissues, nucleic acids, mucins, lipids, pigments
    • Histochemical techniques
    • Immunocytochemistry
    • Molecular diagnostics
    • Electron microscopy
  • Microscopy principles and practice
    • Microtomy, cryotomy, ultramicrotomy
  • Quality assurance
    • Artefacts
  • Basic principles of pathobiology, to include inflammation, fibrosis, necrosis, hypertrophy, hyperplasia, atrophy, metaplasia and apoptosis