History of Pathology

   The word pathology is derived from two Greek words (pathos) meaning suffering of disease and (logy) meaning science. Pathology is therefore the science which is concerned with the study of the cause and mechanism of disease and the structural and functional changes resulting there from.

 

History of Pathology:

            For thousands of years, nature of disease appeared mysterious to human mind. Ancient Egyptian and others attributed disease to the effect of the evil eye, numbers and stars.

          

           In the middle ages and renaissance during the course of human dissection, normal as well as abnormal or morbid features of the different organs were observed by the earliest anatomists. The first important book was published by Morgagni and Paduan in 1716. Matthew Baillie of England (1761-1823) wrote the first systematic text on Pathological anatomy in which the matter was arranged according to organs rather than by symptoms which has been the method of Morgagni.

 

            Virchow ( 1821- 1905) was quick to recognize the far reaching results of the application of Schwann cell theory in the microscopic examination of diseased tissue and thus Virchow and his students in Germany gained the credit of the establishment of Pathology as a science. The conclusions of Virchow were that disease is a process intimately associated with alterations in the structure of the cell and that altered function is an essential feature of disease which should be understood in the first place.