UCL Institute of Neurology


Neuropathology Services

Service Objectives
  • The division provides a speedy, high quality diagnostic service to The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, which is a national tertiary referral centre for all neurological diseases. Samples are delivered, by porter or pneumatic tube, directly from theatres or the wards and the results are transmitted electronically to the electronic patient record, which are accessible from all computers in the UCLH Trust by consultants and wards, providing an efficient neuropathology service to the clinicians.
  • Provision of high profile research
  • Provision of a modern teaching programme for medical students and postgraduates.
  • Provision of a full mortuary and post-mortem service.
  • The Department of Neuropathology has particular expertise in neuro-oncology, neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy, inflammatory diseases of the CNS, prion diseases, peripheral nerve and adult and paediatric muscle.
Lab Expertise and Techniques
  • Cut-up, processing and paraffin sectioning
  • Smear preparation frozen sectioning
  • Cytospin
  • Serum titrations for antineuronal antibodies
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Muscle pathology: special stains, Histochemistry and IHC
  • DNA extraction, real time PCR
  • Peripheral Nerve pathology, teased fibres, semithin sections
  • Electron microscopy
  • Two modern Herasafe Biosafety Class II cabinets for cut-up and dissection of all tissues and fluids
  • Three cryostats, five microtones for paraffin sections
  • Two tissue processors
  • Chemical safety weighing cabinet
  • Large open-plan downdraft working area for solvents and special stains
  • LEICA autostainer and Coverslipper
  • Four LEICA Bondmax automated immunostaining instruments
  • TaqMan Real time PCR thermocycler
  • Conventional PCR thermocycler
  • Three transmission electron microscopes, with digital cameras and one scanning electron microscope.
  • Fully equipped electron microscopy laboratory.
Case Numbers


Case numbers per year (1st April - 31st March) NHNN Referrals
Surgical Pathology and Diagnostic Brain Biopsies 1055 324
Intraoperative Assessments (frozen sections and smear preparations) 498 N/A
Epilepsy Lobes 26 8
Adult Muscle Biopsies 134 78
Paediatric Muscle Biopsies 18 44
Paediatric Muscle Biopsies NCG 67 N/A
Peripheral Nerve Biopsies 34 40
Electron Microscopy Requests 41 31
CSF Cytology Requests 796 N/A
Neuropathological Post-mortem 37 52
Molecular Pathology Tests (total):
691 628
IDH-1 sequencing 186 230
MGMT Methylation (MPCR) 249 169
1p/19q LOH 256 229
Total Neuropathology Requests 3397 1205