Difference Between Pathology and Pathophysiology

Understanding the difference between pathology and pathophysiology would be a challenge for an average person, as the two terms have a close meaning related to diseases. It has been a very common mistake that many people commit when these terms are referred. Therefore, a good understanding about both pathology and pathophysiology would be appropriate. Hence, this article would guide anyone to get familiar with those closely related scientific or medical terms and the differences between both.


In definition, pathology is the study and diagnosis of a disease. When there is a disease caused on an organism, a good understanding about the pathology of the disease is vital for curing. Pathology explains four main components of a disease as follows.

1. Cause of the disease

2. Pathogenesis or the mechanism of the disease development

3. Morphological changes taking place

4. Clinical manifestation of the disease

In addition, pathology could vary depending on the body system that is being studied and according to the focus of the examination. For an example, General Pathology means it is a broad and complex scientific field that attempts to describe the mechanism of a disease or an injury caused and the responsive measures taken by the body for such situations. Anatomical Pathology is the study and diagnosis of a disease based on anatomical aspects such as skin diseases. Therefore, above numbered four aspects would be carried out about skin related diseases in Dermatopathology, a subsection of anatomical pathology. Clinical Pathology develops around the laboratory analysis of body fluids and tissues, while Haemopathology focuses on the diagnosis based on blood related diseases. In addition to those mentioned areas, there could be as many as possible main and sub sections of pathological aspects.

Pathologist is the doctor who diagnoses the disease in patients by examining the biopsies and body fluids. Veterinary pathology, Plant pathology, Forensic pathology, and many more are various areas of specialization for the pathologists. However, despite there are many areas of pathology, it does not go beyond the four aspects stated in numbered format.


Pathophysiology, by definition, is the study of the changes taking place in the body of an organism against usual functions of mechanical, physical, and biochemical aspects due to a disease. An abnormal syndrome could change the body functions, as well. The term path means that there is a disease associated, and physiology means the normal functions of the body. Therefore, the combination of those means the real connotation of the term pathophysiology as described here. In pathophysiology, the changes are studied as what, where, when, and how a disease is being operated in a body, and treatments are then operated. It involves at what magnitude the changes are taking place, as well. Therefore, investigating the pathophysiology of a disease helps for the treatments as well as for the prevention. In explaining pahophysiology of a disease, it involves flow charts and all those are linked and clear with the relationships between the factors.

What is the difference between Pathology and Pathophysiology?

• Pathology studies cause and then finds treatment, whereas pathophsiology studies the changes and then treats to the disease.

• Pathology is important to diagnose using the clinical signs and via sample examination. However, pathophysiology could be performed based on pathological findings.

• Pathophysiology always done comparing the normal healthy functions studies from bottom to top of a disease, whereas pathology goes from top to bottom.

• Pathophysiology is mainly related with quantifiable measurements, whereas pathology is based on direct observations.