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Anatomic Pathology Laboratory Information Systems: A Review

Park, Seung Lyung MD*; Pantanowitz, Liron MD*; Sharma, Gaurav MD; Parwani, Anil Vasdev MD, PhD*

Advances in Anatomic Pathology: March 2012 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 81–96
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0b013e318248b787
Review Articles

The modern anatomic pathology laboratory depends on a reliable information infrastructure to register specimens, record gross and microscopic findings, regulate laboratory workflow, formulate and sign out report(s), disseminate them to the intended recipients across the whole health system, and support quality assurance measures. This infrastructure is provided by Anatomic Pathology Laboratory Information Systems (APLIS), which have evolved over decades and now are beginning to support evolving technologies like asset tracking and digital imaging. As digital pathology transitions from “the way of the future” to “the way of the present,” the APLIS continues to be one of the key effective enablers of the scope and practice of pathology. In this review, we discuss the evolution, necessary components, architecture and functionality of the APLIS that are crucial to today’s practicing pathologist and address the demands of emerging trends on the future APLIS.

*Division of Pathology Informatics, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Reprints: Anil Vasdev Parwani, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology, UPMC Shadyside Hospital, Room WG 02.10, 5230 Center Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA (e-mail:

All figures can be viewed online in color at http://

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.