The Anatomical Pathology unit provides a comprehensive general and specialist diagnostic histopathology and cytopathology service to Alfred Health.
Clinical service overview
Test requisition and clinical information
All specimens submitted for histopathology or cytopathology must be accompanied by an Alfred Pathology paper request form.
The submission of a specimen for histology or cytology constitutes a request for a specialist consultation. As such pathology requests require the same level of clinical information as would any other request for professional medical consultation.
Request forms must also include the requesting doctor’s contact details (telephone or pager number) where urgent results are required. It is essential that relevant clinical details including suspected pathology or pertinent diagnostic questions are written on the request form.
Specimens cannot be accepted or processed by the laboratory unless properly labeled and accompanied by a completed request form.
Specimen collection fundamentals
The quality of any laboratory test result is dependent on many variables and it all begins at the point of collection. The care, skill and knowledge of the collector when preparing the patient and acquiring the specimen are fundamental to provision of the highest quality standards for testing and diagnosis. This extends to how the specimen is packaged and transported to the laboratory.
Specimen delivery must be done in a timely manner and under conditions that will not compromise the integrity of the specimen. If in doubt about how a specimen should be collected, what tests should be requested or how the specimen should be transported consult the pathology handbook, talk to a consultant or call the laboratory.
Urgent Requests – Routine histopathology processing takes 24 – 48 hours, more for large or calcified specimens. Additional time is also required for immunohistochemistry and special stains. If clinically indicated, mark the request form as 'Urgent' and ensure contact details are provided.
Discussion between clinician and pathologist is needed for this service. This applies in particular where reporting outside of routine working hours is required.
All specimens submitted for cytology must be accompanied by an Alfred pathology request form. Specimens for cytology should be sent to the laboratory without delay. Cytopathology reports are available within 48 hours in the majority of cases.
Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA) Cytology - Non Palpable lesions: On site FNA of non-palpable lesions are performed in Radiology. A pathologist or scientist can be requested to assist with these procedures. Bookings are made through Radiology.
FNA Cytology – Palpable Lesions: On site FNA of palpable lesions may be performed by a Pathologist within Anatomical Pathology where appropriate. Bookings are required. Prior consultation with the Cytology laboratory or a pathologist is essential to ensure staff are available.
Gynaecological Cytology: Alfred Pathology Service is not accredited to process or report gynaecological pap smears. Gynaecological smears must be sent directly to the Victorian Cytology Service (VCS). VCS offer a free courier service for specimen collection. Contact VCS directly on (03) 9250 0300.
Victorian Neuromuscular Laboratory Service
The Victorian Neuromuscular Laboratory Service (VNLS) provides a centralised muscle and nerve diagnostic service to patients throughout Victoria, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and parts of Southern New South Wales.
Find out more about The Victorian Neuromuscular Laboratory Service.
Head - (03) 9076 3153
Principal Scientist - (03) 9076 2767
Histology Laboratory - (03) 9076 2476
Cytology Laboratory - (03) 9076 3088
Immunohistochemistry - (03) 9076 2692
Victorian Neuromuscular Laboratory Service - (03) 9076 5448
Refer your patient
Pathology request form
We accept requests from GPs and specialists. A completed Alfred Pathology Request form needs to be completed and faxed or given to the patient to bring into the service on the day of procedure
- Referral enquiries (03) 9076 3150
- Referral fax (03) 9076 2899