Department of Pathology

The Department of Pathology at The Aga Khan University Hospital is a full-service laboratory serving patients and doctors all over Pakistan. The department's laboratory network is comprised of the Main Clinical Laboratory that is located at the Main Hospital Campus in Karachi, several Regional and Stat Laboratories, and over 290 Laboratory Collection outlets (phlebotomy stations) around the country. All our Clinical Laboratory facilities are equipped with the latest machines, instruments, and technologies. 

Laboratory testing involves a complex set of procedures, equipment, technology, and human skills to ensure accurate and timely results which doctors depend on for making diagnostic and treatment decisions. Given this complexity, any error occurring in any part of the laboratory cycle, from ordering tests to reporting, interpreting, and reacting to results can translate into real harm for patients.  We adopt a Total Quality Management System that helps ensure our laboratories establish, manage and monitor a testing process that provides an appropriate qualitative approach for patient testing care services. We are accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), a gold standard in quality lab testing, and hold the distinction of being the first Clinical Laboratories in Pakistan to get this accreditation. 

Patients and doctors know that they can trust our reporting results for accuracy and speed because our facilities are managed by a team of highly trained and skilled Laboratory Technicians and are supported by experienced Clinical Pathologists (doctors specialised in the examination of organ, tissue, and bodily fluid specimens to help make the diagnosis of a disease).  

Patients and their Doctors choose the Aga Khan University Hospital Clinical Laboratories because we offer:

  • Highly trustworthy and reliable testing.
  • Same day and real-time reporting of most​ test results. 
  • Critical test results reporting on an urgent basis directly to the consulting doctor or patient.
  • Interpretation of reports by our Pathologists and Laboratory staff. 
  • A holistic service by matching all available data for each test and providing the patient or doctor with an informed report.

Our Clinical Laboratory is a full-service facility and has a range of testing services:

  1. Clinical Chemistry (the study of chemical and biochemical mechanisms of the body in relation to disease, mostly through the analysis of body fluids such as blood or urine). Focused on patient safety, we provide accurate, precise and reliable test results for a wide range of complex test menus, performed on our state of the art equipment, monitored by qualified and credentialed laboratory technicians, with a robust internal quality control programme as well as an external quality control programme that complies with ISO (International Organization for Standardization), JCI (Joint Commission International), CLSI (Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute) and CAP (College of American Pathologists) guidelines for patient safety.

  2. Histopathology (the examination of a biopsy or surgical specimen by a pathologist, after the specimen has been processed and histological sections have been placed onto glass slides). Histopathology reports are not machine produced. They require pathologists with vast knowledge, sub specialization skills and experience. We are the largest Histopathology Centre in Pakistan. We follow international protocols and formats, consistently maintain high reporting standards and continue to stay abreast of new developments and advancements in this field. Some of the most complex cases from all over the country, are referred to our laboratory for testing. Daily departmental consultation conferences are held to discuss difficult and challenging cases. We go all the way to reach accurate and conclusive diagnosis in difficult and challenging cases utilizing all ancillary techniques available without putting additional financial burden on the patient. Different types of cancers and diseases have different types of treatment. Therefore, accurate diagnosis is essential.​

  3. Molecular Pathology (the study and diagnosis of disease through the examination of molecules within organs, tissues or bodily fluids). The Section of Molecular Pathology offers a wide array of nucleic acid based tests covering disciplines of molecular genetic, oncology testing, diagnostics for infectious diseases, tissue typing & transplant monitoring, cytogenetics by Karyotyping, chromosome microarray analysis in addition to Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (FISH). We also offer Next generation sequencing (NGS) based testing for oncology panels.Our team of qualified technical staff and Pathologists pay great attention to the quality of our services and follow college of American pathologists (CAP) guidelines. All our tests follow strict validation criteria and stringent quality control checks before reports are released to our valued customers. .​

  4. Hemostasis (testing for blood clotting). We get referrals from all over the country for the diagnosis of inherited and acquired bleeding disorders and hemoglobinopathies. Besides this, we offer an extensive test-screening menu for thrombophilia that covers all aspects of the disease, distinguishing us from other laboratories all over the country. We have a fully automated system for CBC (complete blood count) and peripheral blood smear which has significantly decreased the turnaround times. With the introduction of laboratory automation, quality assurance has risen to a new level. Instruments have been interfaced with laboratory systems, reducing human error as much as possible in analytical procedures but without compromising the level of care. ​Quality assurance is practiced in our laboratory results in precise and accurate reports. When necessary, we perform, complete immunohistochemical tests on bone marrow biopsies free of cost for the diagnosis of malignant hematological disorders.

  5. Microbiology (the study of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi). We are the only Microbiology Laboratory in Pakistan that has been given the status of Supra National Lab for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) by the World Health Organization. The Mycobacteriology test menu offers a wide range of conventional, automated and molecular based tests for the diagnosis of tuberculosis and non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections. In addition, we are the only microbiology setup in Pakistan that has Medically Qualified Doctors with expertise in sub-specialties such as Mycology, Virology, Parasitology, Immunology, Molecular Biology and Infection Control. Our Medically Qualified Doctors are sought after for consultations on antimicrobial therapy, antibiotic stewardship and infection control throughout the country. We follow international standard protocols for reporting strategies. We have a specialized set-up for performing Food and Environmental Microbiology. Our laboratories are critically monitored and quality controlled with a wide range of microbiology media and reagents of international standards. 

​Besides providing clinical services the faculty and technical staff members working with the Clinical Laboratories are aggressively involved in Laboratory based medical research and teaching. They also conduct Continuing Medical Education (CME) programmes nationwide not only for students at undergraduate and postgraduate level, but also for the medical physician community at large. 

The Patient Welfare Program ensures access to high quality laboratory services for the less privileged patient community. This program is offered at over 189 ​Phlebotomy Stations across Pakistan.​​ For details click here