New Diagnostic and Management Approaches in Endocrine Pathology (Special Section–Endocrine Pathology)
Endocrine pathology has a long and colorful history, marked by the important discoveries of Askenazy, Cushing, Hashimoto, Hurthle, Langerhans, Sheehan, and others whose names pepper the language of this field. However, the field itself is young, as it has only been in the last 20 years that people have identified themselves as “endocrine pathologists.” Even as subspecialization found its way into surgical pathology, the pituitary remained the territory of the neuropathologists, the thyroid and parathyroid have been in the realm of head and neck pathologists, and the adrenal remained a component of genitourinary pathology. Disorders of the endocrine pancreas and endocrine gut comprise a significant element in gastrointestinal pathology, and endocrine lesions of the lung are usually within the sphere of pulmonary pathology. However, the concept of structure-function correlations, particularly hormone production, is a unique challenge that provides a unifying theme to endocrine pathology that has captivated the minds of those who delve into this area. In many centers, the importance of clinicopathologic correlations and the emergence of multidisciplinary site groups have fostered the development of pathologists who have become experts in this complex and fascinating field. The rapid growth in knowledge of cell and molecular biology has resulted in new approaches to the diagnosis and management of endocrine disorders. In this special section of the Archives, we have asked some of the experts in this field to provide timely updates for pathologists who deal with endocrine pathology. This special section is not intended to be a comprehensive text. Instead, we have identified specific questions that we perceive as common areas of confusion or concern that represent challenges to the practicing pathologist or critical updates that have changed daily practice.