The Department of Pathology encompasses cellular, cytological, neurological diagnostics and mortuary services. We provide a comprehensive and efficient analytical, clinical advisory and educational service to Hospitals and General Practitioners within Lothian and the Borders. In addition we provide specialist diagnostic services in  Paediatrics, Transplant medicine, Renal and Liver medicine, Muscle Histochemistry, Immunocytochemistry and  Electron Microscopy for other health board regions. Pathology is spread over 2 main sites which are the RIE and WGH with 3 satellite Frozen Section laboratories at RHSC, St John's and the Moh's Clinic at Lauriston Place.

Please click on the link to view information on Molecular Pathology Diagnostic Service.

Click on the following links to view laboratories locations, opening hours and contact details.

For clinical advice or to book a frozen section please call Pathology general enquiries to have your call directed to the most appropriate team. 

We regularly audit the quality of our service and the Departments are accredited by UKAS. It is very important to us that you contact us if you have any questions or complaints about any aspect of the service, including apparently inappropriate results.

All patient information is treated in line with NHS Lothians Confidentiality Policy.

Please note: Electron Microscopy is currently unaccredited to ISO15189.


All pathology and Diagnostic Cytology Specimens must be accompanied by a completed pathology request form.


Urgent Reports

  • The need for an urgent report should be indicated clearly on the request form.
  • It is important to give the contact clinician’s bleep and telephone number on the request form.

Note: results can be viewed on APEX for RIE, WGH, SJH & RHSC as soon as they are available. This is the preferred method of results transmission. Please only telephone the Department for results if an Apex terminal is not available, or if there is a specific query. Use of the APEX laboratory General Enquiries system is detailed on the RIE Intranet site address.

Password access problems and associated hardware problems should be reported through 85050.

Results are also available on SCI store.

Referred Tests

All requests for cytogenetic samples on lymph nodes, placenta, products of conception and glioma cases are referred to the South East Scotland Cytogenetics Service, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh, EH4 2XU

Any requests for flow cytometery on fresh lymph node tissue are referred to HMDS, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH4 2XU.

Additional referrals to national reference centres may take place if the patient pathway dictates this action. These referrals are initiated by the referring clinician or the referral centres. Please contact Pathology general enquires for further information on referred tests.

High Risk / Risk of Infection Specimens

The laboratory is equipped to handle Category 1-3 pathogens (as described by the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens) Specimens containing Group 3 pathogens should be identified as HIGH RISK using a RISK OF INFECTION sticker''  All tissue from known or suspected high risk patients (Appendix I) must be transported to the laboratory in an adequate volume of fixative.