Autopsy vs. Biopsy

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Autopsy and Biopsy is that the Autopsy is a surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse and Biopsy is a medical test involving sampling of cells or tissues for examination

  • Autopsy

    An autopsy (post-mortem examination, obduction, necropsy, or autopsia cadaverum) is a surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse by dissection to determine the cause, mode, and manner of death or to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present for research or educational purposes. (The term “necropsy” is generally reserved for non-human animals; see below). Autopsies are usually performed by a specialized medical doctor called a pathologist. In most cases, a medical examiner or coroner can determine cause of death and only a small portion of deaths require an autopsy.

  • Biopsy

    A biopsy is a medical test commonly performed by a surgeon, interventional radiologist, or an interventional cardiologist involving extraction of sample cells or tissues for examination to determine the presence or extent of a disease. The tissue is generally examined under a microscope by a pathologist, and can also be analyzed chemically. When an entire lump or suspicious area is removed, the procedure is called an excisional biopsy. An incisional biopsy or core biopsy samples a portion of the abnormal tissue without attempting to remove the entire lesion or tumor. When a sample of tissue or fluid is removed with a needle in such a way that cells are removed without preserving the histological architecture of the tissue cells, the procedure is called a needle aspiration biopsy. Biopsies are most commonly performed for insight into possible cancerous and inflammatory conditions.

  • Autopsy (noun)

    A dissection performed on a cadaver to find possible cause(s) of death.

  • Autopsy (noun)

    An after-the-fact examination, especially of the causes of a failure.

  • Autopsy (noun)

    An eyewitness observation, the presentation of an event as witnessed.

  • Autopsy (verb)

    To perform an autopsy on.

  • Autopsy (verb)

    To perform an after-the-fact analysis of, especially of a failure.

  • Biopsy (noun)

    The removal and examination of a sample of tissue, cells, or bodily fluid from a living body for diagnostic purposes.

    “We will need to perform a biopsy to determine whether the tumour is malignant or benign.”

  • Biopsy (verb)

    To take a sample (a biopsy) for pathological examination.

    “They biopsied the lump but it turned out to be non-cancerous.”


Leave a Comment