Pathology is a significant component of the causal study of disease and a major field in modern medicine and diagnosis. It is used broadly to refer to the study of disease in general, incorporating a wide range of bioscience research fields and medical practices or more narrowly to describe work within the contemporary medical field of ''general pathology'', which includes a number of distinct but inter related medical specialties which diagnose disease mostly through the analysis of tissue, cell, and body fluid samples.
As a field of general inquiry and research, pathology addresses four components of disease, they are:
1. Cause or Etiology
2. Mechanisms of development (pathogenesis)
3. Structural alterations of cells (morphologic changes)
4. The consequences of changes (clinical manifestations)
The study of disease is divided into many different fields which study or diagnose markers for disease using methods and technologies particular to specific scales, organs and tissue types.
Study of pathology is two types, they are:
1. Study of pathology in humans
2. Study of pathology in non-humans