Division of Pediatric Pathology

CHPThe Division of Pediatric Pathology is affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Pathology Department and is located in the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. The state-of-art clinical and anatomic pathology laboratories provide a full range of consultative and diagnostic services including automated testing technologies, and routine histopathology, molecular diagnostics, cytology, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization and ultrastructural pathology, microbiology, and virology, that are vital in guiding the diagnosis and therapy of our patients. Our educational mission includes training of residents, fellows and visiting pathologists by individual case discussion, conferences, teaching sets, handout material, and web-based educational material. Our research mission centers on issues that arise either directly or indirectly from developments in the field of pediatric pathology and pediatric organ transplantation. All members of the Division are engaged in research, covering topics such as pathologic and clinical aspects of pediatric soft tissue and visceral tumors, defects of neural crest cell migration, histiocytic disorders of childhood, developmental pulmonary abnormalities, childhood vascular tumors and malformations, stem cell biology and cellular therapeutics, and pathology and biology of post-transplant tumors.

Faculty

Clinical Services

The Division of Pediatric Pathology offers a full array of state of the art diagnostic services in the areas of Anatomic and Clinical Pathology for patients of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, one of the premier pediatric hospitals in the nation. Consultative services at the National and international levels are also provided. Classic and modern techniques are available, including an extensive immunohistochemistry menu, in situ hybridization and ultrastructural pathology. Molecular diagnostic techniques are also offered with support from the Molecular Anatomic Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics Divisions. Pediatric postmortem examination is included in our services. Informatics expansion at Departmental level allows for online consultation.

Highlights

  • National and international Pathology consultation in all areas of pediatric disease
  • Pediatric solid organ neoplasia, with active participation in the Children's Oncology Group (COG)
  • Pathology of transplantation, including heart, lung, liver, bowel, kidney, bone marrow and post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders
  • Bowel motility disorders, including classic and modern approaches to diagnose Hirschsprung disease and associated disorders
  • Pediatric melanocytic disorders, including giant nevi and neurocutaneous melanocytosis
  • Pediatric testicular pathology, including Disorders of Sexual Development (DSDs)
  • Histiocyte disorders, including Langerhans cell histiocytosis and dendritic cell disorders
  • Molecular diagnostic services for pediatric infectious disease, including pertussis, quantitative EBV

Special Procedures

  • Immunohistochemistry, including bright field immunohistology and immunofluorescence, with special panels applicable to pediatric diseases
  • Electron microscopy for tumors, metabolic, muscle, renal and ciliary diseases
  • In situ hybridization for Epstein-Barr virus and specific chromosomal aberrations
  • Hirschsprung disease and other intestinal motility disorders: comprehensive diagnostic workup, including enzymatic histochemistry for acetylcholinesterase, and immunohistochemical detection of other relevant molecules
  • Polymerase chain reaction-based assays for Bordetella pertussis and Chlamydia trachomatis

Consultation Services

The Department of Pathology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is staffed by six board-certified Anatomic Pediatric Pathologists, a Clinical Pathologist, and a Pediatric Microbiologist. In addition, extensive support from the Divisions of Neuropathology, Hematopathology, and others, allows for world-class expert support in specific areas. The interests of the staff cover all areas of pediatric diagnostic pathology, and a range of special procedures applicable to pediatric surgical pathology is offered. Special handling is necessary for some studies, therefore, it is advised to call ahead for specific requirements.

Research Activities

  • Pathology of pediatric neoplasia: epithelial-mesenchymal transition; melanocytic pediatric neoplasia
  • Pediatric Testicular Pathology; Disorders of Sexual Development
  • Ciliopathies
  • Pediatric pathology of transplantation: liver, small bowel, heart, lung and kidney
  • Epstein-Barr virus-related diseases
  • Pediatric solid and soft tissue tumors (including, but not limited to, Ewing sarcoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor, rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor and lymphoma)
  • Pediatric liver diseases
  • Pediatric brain tumors
  • Histiocytosis and dendritic cell diseases, including Langerhans cell histiocytosis
  • Molecular diagnosis of pediatric infectious diseases
  • Congenital heart disease

Training

Residents from the Pathology Residency Program at the Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, rotate for six weeks in our Division, gaining exposure to essential elements in the sub-specialty.

In addition, an ACGME-approved Fellowship Program in Pediatric Pathology, one of the oldest and most prestigious in the country, is offered. This is a one-year postgraduate course for trainees who have graduated from a general pathology residency, are Board eligible in AP or AP/CP, and wish to pursue a career in academic pediatric pathology.

This program is designed to give participants guided and supervised exposure to the practice of complex, hospital-based pediatric pathology in all its facets. With an emphasis in academic initiatives, there is broad exposure to the surgical and autopsy pathology of children, including developmental, fetal, placental and perinatal areas. Our trainees are mentored and encouraged to participate in academic and research projects, as well as to present their work at national and international meetings and publish it. They also participate in the teaching of rotating AP or AP/CP residents. Our Fellowship graduates are expected at the end of their training to have acquired enough expertise to function as independent practitioners in pediatric patient care. Managerial aspects in Pediatric Pathology are included in our training, covering quality improvement and compliance practices, which should help them in becoming leaders in the specialty.

Highlights

  • Six week resident rotation offered in the third or fourth year
  • ACGME approved Fellowship program in pediatric pathology