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Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 2009 Sep;226(9):740-6. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1109695. Epub 2009 Sep 11.

[The situation of ophthalmic pathology in Germany: the current status].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Department für Augenheilkunde, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen.



Ophthalmic pathology with its 150 year-old tradition is a subspecialty which since its beginning has contributed substantially to progress in ophthalmology. Nevertheless, deactivation or even termination of ophthalmopathological laboratories has occurred in the past years mainly due to economic pressure. In order to evaluate the situation and future perspectives of the existing, active laboratories in Germany and to ask for the kind of support desired from the Section for Ophthalmic Pathology of the German Ophthalmological Society (DOG) a survey was carried out using a questionnaire.


The main results were as follows. 1. Specialised ophthalmic pathology is performed in Germany almost exclusively in laboratories integrated in university eye clinics. 2. There is close cooperation with institutes for pathology and dermatopathology. 3. The main focus is placed on the cornea, tumours of the eye and its adnexae, and the conjunctiva. 4. The number of ophthalmopathological specimens investigated per year is generally below 1000 and often below 500. 5. The diagnostic spectrum and equipment of the laboratories is generally good. 6. There are some deficits concerning ophthalmopathological education and the status of ophthalmic pathology within the clinics. 7. A considerable number of scientific publications is generated by the members of the laboratories. 8. At present there is only minimal fear that the own laboratory will be eliminated in the near future. 9. Ophthalmic pathology is established as an integral component of ophthalmology in patient care and, even more, in ophthalmic research. 10. The DOG-Section "Ophthalmic pathology" is requested to initiate stays in foreign laboratories, to initiate scientific multicentre studies, and to support activities dedicated to preserve the ophthalmopathological laboratories.


For the first time valid data concerning the situation of ophthalmopathological laboratories in Germany have been collected. The information gathered can and should be used as an argument for the preservation and, if possible, even expansion of the occupation with normal and pathologic eye morphology at eye hospitals in and beyond Germany.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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