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Autopsy Pathology, Autopsies

The Autopsy Pathology Division of the Department of Pathology at North Shore-LIJ Health System performs approximately 200 autopsies a year to determine the cause of death, confirm clinical diagnoses, evaluate the effects of therapy and study disease processes.


The Autopsy Pathology Division of the Department of Pathology at North Shore-LIJ has performed thousands of autopsies since its inception in the early 1950s. Autopsies are performed by house officers under close supervision of senior house officers and attending physicians. Special procedures may include radiography, immunohistochemistry, microbiology, photography and electron microscopy. Autopsy pathology findings are presented at multidisciplinary mortality and morbidity conferences, and information derived from the autopsy may be used for educational and research purposes.

We maintain records and slides of every autopsy performed by Autopsy Pathology Service, which may be available to investigators for review.


Expert Consultation

  • Dr. Michael Esposito is director of Autopsy Service at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. For the past 15 years, his special interest has been the promotion of the autopsy in an era of decreased autopsy utilization, with emphasis on its use in hospital-wide quality assurance.
  • Dr. Maria Navarro is director of Autopsy Service at North Shore University Hospital at Manhasset and brings 10 years of experience to the field. 
  • Dr. Morris Edelman is the Chief of Pediatric Pathology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and performs and supervises approximately 50 pediatric autopsies per year. He works closely with the clinicians of the Children’s Hospital to elucidate the cause of death in cases of fetal, neonatal and pediatric demise, with a particular interest in congenital cardiac malformations.

Timely Results

The Autopsy Service strives for accuracy, completeness and timeliness in performing and reporting on autopsies. We are sensitive to issues of concern to families, including funeral arrangements and to the resolutions of cause of death, appropriateness of care and possible genetic implications of disease.

A preliminary report is available within two days of completing the gross examination and review. Generally, the final report, which includes the results of histologic and other studies, is complete within 30 days. Staff members provide an interpretation of the autopsy report and will consult with the family.

Special Ordering Instructions

The extent of the autopsy examination may vary. Complete autopsy examination is preferable, but partial or brain-only examinations may be directed to answer specific questions. Slide and medical review of autopsies performed elsewhere will be reviewed for second opinion.

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