[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
September 6, 1965

The Autopsy in the Age of Molecular Biology

Author Affiliations

From the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, Second and Fourth (Harvard) Medical Services, Boston City Hospital.

JAMA. 1965;193(10):813-814. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090100059016

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The "old days" of anatomic and morphologic pathology are surely over, for this is the age of molecular biology. Such great morphologists as Virchow, Rokitansky, and those who followed contributed extensively to our knowledge of disease of the morphologic understanding of cancer and its metastases, of myocardial infarction and its relation to coronary blood flow, of peptic ulcer and the complications of perforation and hemorrhage, of the varieties of cirrhosis, and the classification of the leukemias and lymphomas. Much of our understanding of phenomona such as inflammation and necrosis is the result of long, careful, intelligent observation deriving mostly from the autopsy table. Undoubtedly, refinement in microscopy, especially of the electron microscope, will bring a better understanding of subcellular particles and ultra-structure, but in spite of all the knowledge that gross and microscopic pathology has taught us in the past, today search for the causes of disease is devoted to

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview