Pathology is a medical specialty that determines the cause and nature of diseases. Pathology involves examining and testing body tissues (from biopsies and pap smears, for example) and bodily fluids (from samples including blood and urine). The results from these tests help doctors diagnose and treat patients correctly.
Cytology (sometimes referred to as" Cytopathology ") is a branch of pathology that studies and diagnoses diseases on the cellular level.
It is usually used to aid in the diagnosis of cancer, but also helps in the diagnosis of certain infectious diseases and other inflammatory conditions.
Cytopathology is generally used on samples of free cells or tissue fragments (in contrast to histopathology, which studies whole tissues) and cytopathologic tests are sometimes called smear tests because the samples may be smeared across a glass microscope slide for subsequent staining and microscopic examination.