84357 - General Pathology

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Arianna Palladini
  • Credits: 8
  • SSD: MED/04
  • Language: English
  • Moduli: Arianna Palladini (Modulo 1) Cecilia Garofalo (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Rimini
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Pharmacy (cod. 9078)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows the biological basis of the pathological manifestations, the etiological agents and the pathogenetic mechanisms responsible for the alterations of the homeostasis and the onset of the diseases. In parallel, it acquires elements of medical terminology and principles of pathophysiology in order to be able to then apply them for the study of the drug-toxicological disciplines and in the professional field.

Course contents



Areas of study of pathology and general pathophysiology. Concept of health, pathological process and disease; etiology, pathogenesis, evolution; progression and outcomes.


Cells and tissues of the immune system.

Innate immune response. The complement system.

Adaptive immune response. Antigens and antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies. Immunologic tolerance.

Hypersensitivity reactions. Transplant rejection. Immunodeficiencies.


Etiology and classification of acute inflammation, chemical mediators, vascular changes and exudate formation, cellular events and phagocytosis.

Chronic and granulomatous inflammation.

Tissue repair and wound healing, fibrosis.

Systemic manifestations of inflammation: acute phase response and fever.


Cellular adaptations and damages.

Pathologies from cellular accumulation.

Cellular degenerations. Cellular death: apoptosis and necrosis


Structural and numerical chromosome abnormalities.

Monogenic diseases: autosomal dominant, recessive, linked to the X chromosome.

Multifactorial diseases


Introduction, definitions and classification: the size of the problem. Benign and malignant neoplasms. Tumor classification.

The molecular basis of cancer: oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes: mechanisms and therapeutic implication. Genetic predispositions.

Natural history: monoclonality, heterogeneity, preneoplastic lesions. Angiogenesis. Metastatic process. 

The causes of cancer: biological and molecular mechanisms of physical, chemical and biological carcinogenesis.

Fundamentals of cancer therapy. Tumor immunology.


General mechanisms of pathophysiological alterations of cells and tissues.

Pathophysiology of the cardio-vascular system:

Atherosclerosis. Risk factors. Atherosclerotic plaque. Local (aneurysm and thrombosis) and general consequences of atherosclerosis.

Edema: localized and systemic edemas regulation of fluid exchanges and local conditions leading to the formation of edema, the role of the kidney in the pathogenesis of edema, damage due to the formation of edema.

Thrombosis: the intrinsic pathway of activation of coagulation. Conditions that favor the formation of the thrombus, Virchow's triad. Outcomes of thrombus.

Embolism: solid, liquid and gaseous emboli. Conditions that favor pulmonary embolism and its consequences. Metastatic emboli. Embolism from amniotic fluid.

Shock. Classification of the various shocks. Septic shock.

Pathophysiology of the gastrointestinal system:

Regulation of digestion mechanisms; tumors of the gastrointestinal system; acute and chronic gastritis; H. pylori disease; peptic ulcer; celiac disease; chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

Hepatic steatosis; cirrhosis.

Hepatitis; hepatocarcinoma.

Pathophysiology of the endocrine system: hormones, mechanisms of action, the feedback system.

The thyroid: hypo- and hyper-thyroidism, goiter, thyroiditis.

Endocrine pancreas: effects and action of glucagon and insulin.

Diabetes mellitus. Definition and classification. Diagnostic criteria. Etiopathogenesis, metabolic and complications aspects.

General concepts about hormone-dependent tumors.

Pathophysiology of the respiratory system: main anatomic and functional alterations of the pulmonary parenchyma; respiratory failure. Obstructive and restrictive pathology. Emphysema. Lung infections.




1) Kumar, Abbas, Aster. Robbins&Cotran, Pathologic Basis of disease. Tenth edition

2) Tak W. Mak, Mary E. Saunders, Bradley D. Jett. Primer to the Immune Response. Second Edition

3) Lollini P-L. Cellular & Molecular ONCOLOGY A CONCISE PRIMER. First Edition (available on https://virtuale.unibo.it/)

Teaching methods

The course is divided into lectures (64 hours) held through the use of power points. Power Point support will be utilized during the lessons and a copy of it will be available for the Students.

Assessment methods

Student learning of "General Pathology"  (Module 1 and Module 2) will be checked at the end of the course through a test. The test will consist of 31 multiple choice questions (0.5 points per question, no penalty for wrong answers) and 2 open questions (7.5 points per question). The test duration will be 75 minutes. 

Those who reach a minimum of 18 points pass the test. The number of correct answers, if greater than or equal to 18, corresponds to the final grade. Mark equal to 30.5 will be awarded with a 30 cum laude (30 with honors).

In case of failure or refusal, students can retake the exam on the first available examination date

A passing grade (i.e. mark above or equal to 18/30) in "General Pathology" and "Basis of Clinical and Molecular Biology" is required to obtain the final assessment for the whole exam of "Molecular and Clinical Pathology (I.C.)". The final mark will be calculated as the weighted mean (based on CFUs) of the two marks.

In order to go through the final exam, the students must register in the electronic board respecting the deadline.

Teaching tools

Lectures will be supplied on informatic supports (https://virtuale.unibo.it/)

Office hours

See the website of Arianna Palladini

See the website of Cecilia Garofalo


Good health and well-being

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.