The role of pathology in the identification of drug-induced hepatic toxicity
Pathologists play a central role in the recognition and prevention of drug-induced toxicity. Pathologists engaged in clinical practice must identify a pattern of histological lesions that are interpreted in concert with a variety of clinical data to determine the probability of drug-induced toxicity versus background disease processes and the most likely drug, often of many, to have caused the specific injury. Toxicological pathologists, working in concert with other scientists, have the responsibility of preventing drug-induced toxicity in humans by identifying potentially toxic drugs and keeping them from the marketplace. In this process of drug development, a broad array of in vivo testing using a number of animal species and in vitro assays are used. Technological advances require pathologists to integrate molecular-based mechanistic data effectively with traditional morphological evaluation to develop a more detailed grasp of the pathogenesis of drug-induced injury. All pathologists have the responsibility to effectively and accurately communicate their findings and interpretations to the appropriate audiences.
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