Bone Diagnostic and Research Laboratory
National and International Reference Laboratory
The UK College of Medicine Division of Nephrology serves as a national and international reference laboratory for bone histomorphometric analyses. In the past, bone histology was rarely used as a diagnostic tool for metabolic bone diseases because of formidable technical problems. Bone could only be cut and stained after it was decalcified, giving it the same consistency as any soft tissue. Newer methods, however, make it possible to process bone without prior removal of the mineral content - thus the term, mineralized bone histology. One may obtain not only static histological results but also important dynamic parameters of bone metabolism.
Primary physicians may collect specimens by performing a bone biopsy or by having it performed, and then send these to the Bone Diagnostic and Research Laboratory for analysis. An experienced bone histologist analyzes all bone sections and sends a detailed summary of histological diagnosis and results, along with recommendations for therapy to the primary physician.