Chemical Pathology

Chemical Pathology

Chemical Pathology is the study of chemical and biochemical mechanisms of the body through the analysis of body fluids such as blood and urine, spinal and peritoneal fluid, stool and sputum.

Our Chemical Pathologists specialize in identifying biochemical changes that occur in, or are associated with, imbalance or disease.

Ampath has a vast network of local laboratories (often within hospitals) that are equipped to run urgent tests that require a rapid turnaround time.

Results are phoned/SMSed or delivered to the ordering physician as a matter of urgency. Certain life-threatening results (such as cardiac markers in the case of a suspected heart attack) are often delivered within an hour or less following collection.

Additional local testing includes kidney (renal) and liver function tests as well as certain drug levels that are required for the urgent treatment of patients.

Ampath’s National Reference Laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility where specialized or more expensive tests that usually need to be "batched" are performed.

We have a vast array of tests available for ordering, and some testing methods include:

  • Immunoassay
  • Chemiluminescence
  • Electrode-based assays
  • And more

Most of these tests are run on sophisticated autoanalysers which can handle a large number of tests running through the machine at any one time.

Point-of-Care analysers (often found at local testing laboratories) are generally less sensitive and specific than the auto-analysers. We recommend that any results from a POC machine should be submitted for routine / stat testing if it does not fit the clinical picture.

Quality control is of critical importance and we are committed to ensuring that all our control systems are in place before releasing any results to the doctors.

Physicians require accurate information in order to make treatment decisions for their patients, and that’s why they can rely on our Chemical Pathologists for their vast knowledge and support.

Some pathologists work with sub-specialists in often esoteric fields.

Please refer to the Specialized Biochemistry as well as the Endocrinology sections for more information.

Links & Resources

SEMDSA - Society for Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes of South Africa

SEMDSA (Society for Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes of South Africa) is a scientific society open to all persons interested in endocrinology, metabolism and diabetes. SEMDSA aims to further the clinical practice; to promote both clinical and scientific research as well as publication into all branches of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes. Read more