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The diagnosis, abbreviated Dx is the key to treatment. Pathologists diagnose.

Differential diagnosis

When the diagnosis cannot be made, people generate a list of possibilities; this is known as the differential diagnosis, abbreviated DDx.

Clinical diagnosis

A diagnosis that is made with clinical information. Some of these diagnoses cannot be made from a biopsy without the history, as they lack distinctive pathologic characteristics that allow them to be separated from all other diagnoses.

Associated diagnosis

A diagnosis that is seen in association with another diagnosis, e.g. dermatitis herpetiformis is associated with celiac disease.

Diagnosis synonyms

Many diagnoses are known by several names due to historical reasons. Many old terms prove to be misnomers as the understanding evolves, yet they remain entrenched due to usage.

Libre Pathology redirects what it deems to be synonyms. Unique diagnoses are added to diagnosis category, while synonyms are not, e.g. Warthin tumour is in diagnosis category while papillary cystadenoma lymphomatosum is not.

Uncertainty of the diagnosis

In some cases the pathologist is not fully confident of his diagnosis (although trying ruling out all other possiblities he is aware of). Commonly used terms describing this uncertainty in reports are:

  • the features are indicative of …
  • raise the possibility of …
  • are compatible with …
  • are probably those of …
  • are diagnostic of …
  • are in keeping with …
  • are suggestive of …

Interpretation of the meaning of phrases describing probability however vary widely between pathologists and clinicians reading the report.[1]

List of diagnoses

See also


  1. Galloway, M.; Taiyeb, T. (2011). "The interpretation of phrases used to describe uncertainty in pathology reports.". Patholog Res Int 2011: 656079. doi:10.4061/2011/656079. PMID 21876845.