The History of the Department of Laboratory Medicine

Patient care began in 1920’s in the departments of the University of Debrecen. In the initial few decades, clinical diagnostics basically consisted of microbiological and serological analyses, similarly to the international trends at that time. In the 40’s and 50’s, the development of clinical chemistry and hematological laboratory equipments received a huge boost following important breakthroughs, e.g. Beckman developed the spectrophotometer, Coulter worked out the principles of cell-counting, which revolutionized laboratory analysis. In the 50’s and 60’s, these developments resulted in the setting up of centralized laboratories in hospitals in Hungary as well. However, the establishment of such diagnostic laboratories at the Hungarian medical universities took place much later.

The central laboratory was founded on January 1 in 1978, and since 2011 it is called the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the University of Debrecen. This laboratory started its function as a “typical basement laboratory” in two small labs in the basement of the Department of Internal Medicine and in two seminar rooms of the Theoretical Building. In the year of its establishment, the Department carried out only 10 types of analyses, and the number of examinations was 251,000. In the present days, 4 million examinations are performed annually from more than 300 types of laboratory tests, and over 50 types of tests are available 24 hours. In February 2012, the Department was moved into the new In Vitro Diagnostic Building with the Department of Microbiology and a Clinical Genomics Center. Here, clinical samples are received around the clock via an 8.6 km long underground pneumatic tube system, which connects the Laboratory with all other Clinical Departments.

These important developments are some of the reasons why this website was created. The main purpose of this website is to provide the clinicians an overview of the diagnostic profile at our Laboratory as well as to distribute general, scientific, and educational information concerning this Department.