Immuno-histo chemistry
At Cpathlabs, we have widest range of antibodies in the country (150+) with several diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic panels in our IHC department.

IHC is a special test used by pathologists to detect specific molecules on cells which are suspected but not confirmed on routine histology examination. Over 70 years since this technique first appeared, there have been many applications of this technique in the diagnostic field, especially in detecting the origin of cancer cells and confirming their presence. It is a technique used in histopathology laboratories to localise antigens in tissue sections using specific antibodies.

This technique uses biopsies, say breast cancer, which then are processed into sections with a microtome and then the sections are incubated with an appropriate antibody. The antigens of interest are usually substances found on particular cell types. Commercially-produced antibodies against the substance of interest bind to antigens in the tissue section.

The site of antibody binding is visualized under an ordinary or fluorescent microscope by a marker such as fluorescent dye, enzyme, radioactive element, or colloidal gold, which is directly linked to the primary antibody or to an appropriate secondary antibody

Immunohistochemistry antibody-antigen complex can be visualised in several ways, the most common being a colour change that can be seen under the microscope. IHC is used to identify and characterise the distribution of antigens in a wide range of tissue types. Many cancers, for example, express certain antibodies according to their tissue of origin. IHC can therefore be used to differentiate between cancer that has arisen in the breast or bowel. This is extremely useful in determining treatment options as different cancers respond to different treatments. IHC can be performed manually but automated machines are now available and used by most histopathology labs.

Let us understand with an example. When a tissue sample -- such as a lymph node biopsy -- is passed to a lab to be examined for disease, there are several details that cannot be determined easily. Several diseases or disease sub-types may look alike under a routine histology stain, but have different behaviours and different treatments. One way to differentiate them is to detect specific molecules on these cells that act as markers.IHC has found numerous applications in medicine, especially in cancer diagnosis.

Since IHC involves specific antigen–antibody reactions, it has apparent advantage over traditionally used special enzyme staining techniques that identify only a limited number of proteins, enzymes, and tissue structures. Therefore, IHC has become a crucial technique and is widely used in many medical research laboratories as well as clinical diagnostics. The following is some of the areas, where IHC is extensively applied.

Prognostic Markers in Cancer Tumors of Uncertain Histogenesis Prediction of Response to Therapy Infections Brain Trauma IHC in Muscle Diseases . 


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