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Gastrointestinal Pathology

Gastrointestinal pathology (including liver, gallbladder and pancreas) is a recognized sub-specialty discipline of surgical pathology. The Gastrointestinal Pathology Service offers broad experience in adult gastrointestinal and pancreatic disease, including FNA, endoscopic biopsies and surgical specimens.

Our pathology group provides the highest quality GI pathology diagnoses, including second opinion, made exclusively by one of our trained gastrointestinal and liver pathologists. As a group we are available to answer your questions and concerns about diagnoses at all times.



Expert Consultation

  • Dr. James M. Crawford is chair of the Gastrointestinal Pathology Division and senior vice president of Clinical Laboratories for the North Shore-LIJ Health System. He received his MD and PhD degrees from Duke University, Durham NC, trained in Anatomic Pathology and Gastrointestinal/Liver Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and did a Liver Pathology Fellowship at the Royal Free Hospital, London. He has 23 years’ experience as a practicing gastrointestinal and hepatic pathologist, and is recognized worldwide for his expertise in hepatic pathology. Among his many scholarly contributions are regular chapter contributions on liver pathology to Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease (4th – 8th Editions), MacSween’s Pathology of the Liver (4th – 6th Editions), and serving as Senior Editor (1st Edition) and Associate Editor (2nd Edition) for Odze & Goldblum Surgical Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract, Pancreas, Biliary Tract and Liver. He has published extensively in hepatobiliary pathology and pathophysiology, and is a former president of the Hans Popper Hepatopathology Society. Dr. Crawford is the senior case consultant in NSLIJ Health System for gastrointestinal, hepatic, pancreatic, and biliary surgical pathology.
  • Dr. Elsje Barendswaard received her medical degree at Leyden University Medical School in the Netherlands. She came to the United States to do research on monoclonal antibodies for the detection and treatment of colon cancer, followed by training in Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York and in Gastrointestinal Pathology in the Roger Williams Health System, Providence, Rhode Island. She joined the NSLIJ Health System in 2008, where her focus has been in Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Pathology.
  • Dr. Jela Bandovic is the Director of Gastrointestinal Pathology Services. Prior to relocating to the United States, Dr. Bandovic completed an anatomic pathology residency, received a master’s degree in gastrointestinal pathology, was board-certified in anatomic pathology and practiced gastrointestinal pathology for six years in Serbia. Following her arrival in the United States, she graduated from a four-year anatomic and clinical pathology program at the St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center followed by the completion of a hematopathology fellowship at Beth Israel Hospital. Her special interests include pre-neoplastic lesions of the esophagus, stomach and colon. Dr. Bandovic has publications in GI pathology and Hematopathology.
  • Cathy Fan, MD completed a one-year general surgical residency at Mount Sinai Hospital followed by a four-year pathology residency at Saint Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in Manhattan. Discovering a passion for gastrointestinal/hepatic pathology, she went on to graduate from a gastrointestinal and hepatic pathology fellowship program at Mount Sinai Hospital, followed by surgical oncology fellowship at Roswell Park Cancer Institute at Buffalo. 

The Gastrointestinal Pathology Division

A seasoned team of experienced surgical pathologists comprise the Gastrointestinal Pathology subspecialty service, covering all case material. In addition to real-time consultation on challenging case material, this service conducts routine intra-service quality review and maintains routine contact with clinical teams in this subspecialty area.

Timely Results

The diagnostic reports for endoscopic and needle biopsies are routinely completed in 24-48 hours.



Surgical resections, endoscopic and laparoscopic biopsies and needle core biopsies for diseases including: gastroesophageal reflux, Barrett’s esophagus, gastritis, stomach cancer, enteritis, colorectal polyps and cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, pancreatitis and cancer, and biliary tract disease.

  • Endoscopic gastrointestinal biopsies
  • Liver biopsies
  • Gastrointestinal, pancreatic, hepatobiliary tumor evaluation
  • Surgical biopsies and resections


  • Brushings and washings
  • Fine needle aspirations
  • Liquid-based technology with cell blocks, allowing the performance of special stains, immunohistochemistry, and molecular studies

Special Stains

  • Diff-Quik, Giemsa or Steiner for Helicobacter pylori
  • Complete liver panel (trichrome, reticulin, iron, PAS with diastase)
  • Others (calcium, bile, mucins, copper, Congo Red, GMS, AFB, PAS/Alcian blue, etc.)

Immunohistochemistry and Flow Cytometry

Complete panels, including:

  • DNA mismatch repair proteins for colorectal carcinoma (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2)
  • Therapeutic marker for colorectal carcinoma (EGFR, including in situ hybridization)
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumor profile
  • Organ-specific diagnostic markers
  • Prognostic markers (Ki-67, p53, etc.)
  • Complete lymphoma work-up including flow cytometry
  • Infectious agents (H. pylori, HBsAg, HBcAg, HSV, CMV, adenovirus, EBV in situ hybridization)

Molecular and Cytogenetic Testing

Southern blot, PCR, and FISH techniques for:

  • Screening for microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer
  • Typing of lymphoma
  • Ploidy studies
  • Irinotecan sensitivity (UGTIAI) [separate brochure available for specimen handling]


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