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Anatomical Pathology Section Collection

Article Index
Anatomical Pathology Section Collection
History of APSC
Previous Contribution
Mission and Vision
Recovery and Reorganisation
APSC Informatisation
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History of APSC

The history of the Pathology Museum / IOC is confused with the beginning of histopathology in Brazil. Pathological histology only started developing in the beginning of the 20th Century (around 1903) in two different locations: one of these locations was Hospital Nacional de Alienados (National Hospital for Alienated People), in Praia Vermelha, where anatomical pathology research did not last long; the other location was Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (started by Henrique da Rocha Lima) where, the first Escola Brasileira de Anatomia e Histologia Patológicas (Brazilian School of Anatomical Pathology and Pathological Histology) was actually created.

The year of 1903 is considered the beginning of Manguinhos Pathology Museum. On 23 March 1903, Oswaldo Cruz takes office for the first time as General-Director of the Public Health General Directorate, having eradication of yellow fever as one of his priority objectives. In order to do so, Oswaldo Cruz requested researchers of Instituto Soroterápico de Manguinhos (Manguinhos Institute of Serum Therapy) to conduct an anatomical pathology study on yellow fever and diagnosis in post-mortem exams. After examination, major organs presenting changes were preserved by Kaiserling method and sent to the Museum of Manguinhos Institute of Serum Therapy. At the time, all examined materials came from a number of autopsies occurred at Hospital de Isolamento São Sebastião (São Sebastião Isolation Hospital).

Decree No. 17.512, dated 5 November 1926, presented new rules after Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (Oswaldo Cruz Institute) increased its objectives and attributions, specifying, in scientific sections, organisation, preservation and control norms for Scientific Collections and museum organisation. The Anatomical Pathology Section, one of the first Manguinhos sections, in addition to being responsible for the maintenance of the Pathology Museum, also performed necropsies in many different hospitals of the city, diagnosis activities in surgical pieces, and study of normal and embryological histology. Article 16 of the referred to Regulation also said: "the services of pathology and surgery will be destined to the diagnosis of surgical pieces sent to the Institute and will serve as a development tool for the Museum." Article 17 addressed procedures for maintenance and preservation of the Anatomical Pathology Museum. It mentioned that work and autopsy research results would be regularly and carefully recorded in the Museum, with the creation of a catalogue with all anatomical pieces studied. Article 18 especially addressed the need to organise a Collection of normal and pathological histology preparations, and compared embryology and human embryology preparations.

The first fifteen years of history were quite difficult and troubled. Although Escola de Manguinhos has made innumerous contributions in terms of anatomical and pathological knowledge of the diseases studied in Brazil, contributions related to yellow fever and Chagas Disease are the centerpiece.


National Hospital for Alienated People.

Hospital Nacional de Alienados (National Hospital for Alienated People) and Hospital de Manguinhos (Manguinhos Hospital) 1919.

In its heyday, the Pathology Division had members who were experts in different aspects of special anatomical pathology. This Division gave origin to a wide collection of anatomical pieces, obtained from necropsies made in up to six individuals per day that had been admitted to the Institute Hospital (currently, Instituto de Pesquisa Clínica Evandro Chagas – IPEC (Evandro Chagas Institute for Clinical Research)), Santa Casa de Misericórdia do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro Health Facility), and Hospital São Francisco de Assis (São Francisco de Assis Hospital).

At certain time, this collection was stored in 40 large display cabinets, located where Carlos Chagas Pavilion is located nowadays, Manguinhos campus. Unfortunately, in the period from the end of the sixties to the seventies, the Division, as well as the entire Institute, was faced with a serious crisis that resulted in significant losses. In 1981, IOC was reorganised into Departments and the Pathology Division was transformed in IOC Pathology Department that still stores a collection of macroscopic pieces and their respective histological slides, which provides information about the history and contributions of Pathology in Manguinhos to national and international science.

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