Anatomic Pathology Consult Page

Neuropathology

The Neuropathology Division is recognized internationally for its experimental study, diagnosis, and consultations on disorders of the brain and central nervous system. Pathologists, physicians and medical examiners from around the world contact us for diagnosis of tumors and traumatic lesions of the brain and spinal cord, forensic neuropathology, neurodegenerative disorders, and progressive neurologic disease in children. We consult with pathologists and referring physicians on issues related to patient care and can also offer family members information about the causes or the genetic components of a disease.

Lab Hours
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Johns Hopkins Medical Laboratory
Surgical Neuropathology Consultation Service

Department of Pathology
Sheikh Zayed Tower, Rm M2101

1800 Orleans Street
Baltimore, MD 21231
Phone 410-955-8378
Fax 410-614-9310


Experience

Neuropathology was established as a separate subspecialty in the Department of Pathology in 1971. Under the leadership of Dr. Donald Price, the division has gained an international reputation for its experimental studies of diseases of the brain. Ongoing experience with state-of-the-art research ensures that faculty members remain at the forefront of their fields, with access to the most recent methodologies for diagnosis and continuing experience with many cases of unusual diseases.

Our diagnostic expertise in neuropathology includes such specialities as adult and pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors, cerebrovascular disease, trauma, forensic neuropathology, AIDS; and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and progressive supranuclear palsy.


Expert Consultation

Director of the Neuropathology Surgical Consultation Services, Dr. Peter Burger is one of the world's leading authorities in the interpretation of surgical specimens of brain and spinal cord tumors in adults and children. He has extensive experience in interpreting stereotactic needle biopsies. He is co-author of the AFIP Atlas of Tumor Pathology, Tumors of the Central Nervous System, and has authored three additional major textbooks in central nervous system tumors. Currently, he is the review pathologist for several clinical trials studying new therapies for patients with brain tumors. He is assisted by Dr. Fausto Rodriguez, an experienced surgical pathologist who trained and practiced with Dr. Bernd Scheithauer at the Mayo Clinic prior to joining our faculty. Specimens from the eye and orbit are reviewed by Dr. Charles G. Eberhart.

Dr. Barbara Crain's interest is general autopsy neuropathology with emphasis on epilepsy, cerebrovascular disease and neurodegenerative disease, especially Alzheimer's disease. Founder of the Kathleen Price Bryan Brain Bank, Dr. Crain is vice chair of the Neuropathology Committee of the College of American Pathologists.

Dr. Juan Troncoso is also interested in neurodegenerative diseases. He established the Brain Resource Center, which is the repository for brain tissue specimens at Johns Hopkins University. In addition, Dr. Troncoso has served as neuropathologist for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland for more than 10 years.

Special capabilities and services
Our laboratory is fully equipped to perform the special diagnostic tests needed to study degenerative diseases of the brain, and has vast experience doing the special stains required for these studies. We are skilled in interpreting stereotactic needle biopsies of brain lesions and can perform in-situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, light microscopy, immunofluorescence, and electron microscopy, as necessary.

IMPORTANT NOTE - Unstained Slides Requirement
Note that all tissue (unstained slides) must be submitted on a plus charged slide. The Immunopathology Laboratory recommends a white plus charged slide that is available from Cardinal Health. The catalogue number for the white plus slide is M6159-6, however one must specify to the vendor whether to order as one gross (pack of 144 slides), one case (10 packs per case).


Timely Results

The consultation service aims to respond to requests within 24 hours of the receipt of material. Dr. Burger personally provides a verbal report to the requesting physician and sends the final report by fax. Dr. Burger is available for phone consultations. Pathology material can be returned, if requested.

Written reports on post-mortem evaluations are generally provided within two to four weeks. The final written report is sent by fax. Drs. Crain and Troncoso are also available for phone consultation. Autopsy specimens are returned promptly upon request.

Surgical specimens will be returned promptly after the evaluation and report are completed.


Faculty

Dr. Peter Burger

Peter C. Burger, M.D.

Phone: 410-955-8378
Fax: 410-614-9310
E-mail:

Education and Training

Professional Interests
Surgical pathology and molecular biology of brain tumors

Notable Accomplishments
Author of two widely used text books and more than 200 scientific articles

Major Professional Leadership

 

Dr. Barbara Crain

Barbara J. Crain, M.D., Ph.D., FCAP

Phone: 410-502-5167
Fax: 410-955-9777
E-mail:

Education and Training

Professional Interests
Neurodegenerative diseases (including Alzheimer's disease), Cerebrovascular disease, Epilepsy, Diagnostic electron microscopy

Notable Accomplishments

Major Professional Leadership

 

Dr. Juan Troncoso

Juan C. Troncoso, M.D.

Phone: 410-502-5165
Fax: 410-955-9777
E-mail:

Education and Training

Professional Interests
Neurodegenerative diseases (including Alzheimer's disease), Forensic neuropathology, Trauma of the brain and spinal cord

Notable Accomplishments
Author of more than 70 publications

Major Professional Leadership


Tests

To order, call Customer Service at 1-800-997-5475 between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.

For Biopsy Specimens and Surgical Neuropathology Consults, contact Peter Burger, M.D.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Neuropathology Division

Pathology 710
600 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287-6417

For Autopsy and Other Neuropathology Specimens, contact Juan Troncoso, M.D.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Neuropathology Division

558 Ross Building
720 Rutland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21205

Interpretation and diagnosis of specimens of brain and spinal cord tissue is provided by experienced specialists.


Special Ordering Instructions

Standard Processing for Surgical Specimens
The division provides expert evaluation of surgical specimens of brain and spinal cord tissue, including stereotactic needle biopsies. We use in-situ hybridization, light microscopy, immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry and/or electron microscopy as appropriate for each case.

IMPORTANT NOTE - Unstained Slides Requirement
Note that all tissue (unstained slides) must be submitted on a plus charged slide. The Immunopathology Laboratory recommends a white plus charged slide that is available from Cardinal Health. The catalogue number for the white plus slide is M6159-6, however one must specify to the vendor whether to order as one gross (pack of 144 slides), one case (10 packs per case).

For timely and results we require representative paraffin blocks or unstained slides. All specimens are automatically returned after final report is issued.

Post Mortem Brain Examinations
The division examines fixed brain specimens, tissue blocks, and/or histologic slides prepared at other hospitals. For families in the Baltimore area, faculty can also provide limited (brain only) or complete autopsies (including brain examination). For families outside the near Baltimore area, please call the autopsy servise at (410) 955-3765.