Clínic Barcelona. Hospital Universitari



In the Biopsy Section, tissue specimens are evaluated to provide diagnoses, prognostic information, and in some cases, estimations of the response to specific treatments. Most of the activity is focused on patients from Hospital Clínic de Barcelona (biopsies and clinical autopsies), but we also provide consultancy services and second opinions for patients from other centers and the physicians attending them, as well as various technical processing services.
The pathological diagnosis of biopsies and autopsies is based on interpretation of the morphological and pathological data obtained from the specimens, taking into account the results of pertinent cytologic, immunohistochemical, cytogenetic, molecular genetic, and ultrastructural studies, as well as the patient’s clinical information.

Facilities and equipment

Our laboratories and diagnostic areas are well equipped and meet the current standards of quality, hygiene, and occupational health. This modern equipment enables us to develop our full potential and guarantee optimal results.


Our Section is comprised of 14 special pathology units organized in a network to ensure maximum efficiency. The units cover the general areas of perioperative biopsies (immediate diagnosis during the surgical procedure) and autopsies.

The clinical autopsy area is integrated in this Section to ensure the same high quality that is attained in the biopsies. We perform clinical autopsies; that is, post mortem studies for purely scientific and educational purposes, unlike those carried out in a legal framework by forensic physicians.
When an in-hospital death occurs, the physicians in charge may consider it necessary to perform an autopsy to better understand the cause of death or to clarify certain aspects of the course of the disease. In these cases, the attending clinician explains the situation to the family of the deceased and requests their consent to carry out this procedure.
Samples obtained from all lesions and organs are analyzed to definitively identify and characterize the patient’s underlying disease, the events occurring during the disease course, the effects of treatment, and the final causes of death.


The most commonly used techniques are direct immunofluorescence and indirect immunohistochemistry with antibody-polymer conjugates and reporter agents. In addition, the Section performs molecular diagnostic techniques, such as those based on in situ hybridization (FISH, SISH), to detect molecular abnormalities (amplifications, translocations, deletions) and the presence of some types of viruses


The Section organizes the following courses, which are accredited by the Catalan Council of Continuing Medical Education:

  • Biopsy and autopsy sessions, and courses: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 8.30 to 9.30 a.m.
  • Co-organization of monthly radiology-pathology sessions with the Diagnostic Radiology Department
  • Regular participation in joint sessions with the medical and surgical departments of Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.

Professional team

The team is comprised of 15 general and highly specialized pathologists, 8 resident specialists in training (MIRs), and a technical and administrative team including more than 40 individuals that carry out tasks in the areas of sample reception, macroscopy, general processing, perioperative biopsies, special techniques, electronic microscopy, autopsies, secretarial affairs, and archiving. 



Olga Balagué

Head of Section

Section of Biopsies

Head of Department


Biomedical Diagnostic Center (CDB)

Villarroel, 170 · 08036 Barcelona
Tel: +34 93 227 54 64 · Fax: +34 93 227 98 75 · ·