84298 - Semeiotics of the Abdomen

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Fabio Piscaglia

  • Credits 1

  • SSD MED/09

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Medicine and Surgery (cod. 9210)

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

Describe the basic elements of the physical examination and instrument-assisted evaluation, and recognize normal results.

Course contents

Introduction on history taking.

How to set the appropriate enviroment for history taking, how to conduct the interview.

General approach to physical exam

Proper adjustment of patient attire during physical examination

Abdominal exam

  • Inspection and palpation
  • Percussion, Auscultation
  • Abnormal adbominal sounds

Ultrasound anatomy (with live demonstrations) of the abdominal cavity to the aim of correlating symptoms with organs of origin.

Semiology of basic ultrasound of the abdomen

Pharinx and oral cavity

Extraabdominal irradiating symptoms of abdominal diseases

Physical examination of the groin



Bates' Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking 12th Edition (available either as printed copy or as ebook format)

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons

Demonstration of ultrasound of the abdomen to improve the knowledge about correlations between organs and topography of the symptoms

Assessment methods

Evaluation modality for


Written exam

Time available: 1 hour

15 questions multiple choice for Physiology

15 questions multiple choice for Nutrition

12 questions multiple choice plus one open question for Semeiotics of the Abdomen


For Physiology and Nutrition

+1 correct answer.

0 unanswered question.

-0.25 wrong answer.

Minimum score needed to pass Physiology and Nutrition in each section is 8.2/15

For Semeiotics

+0.5 correct answer.

0 unanswered question.

-0.125 wrong answer.

Between 0 and +1.5 for the answer to the open question.

Minimum score needed to pass Semeiotic is 4.1/7.5

To pass the written exam the students need to pass each section.

Total score is obtained as:

[(Physio. Score + Nut Score + Sem. Score)/37.5]*33

32 or above is 30 Lode (cum Laude)

All other scores are approximated to the lower value: e.g. 25.9 = 25

Passing one part (written/oral) but not the other

If the students fail the written part: no oral

If the student pass the written, but fail the oral:

  • If the written mark is between 18 and 23: re do the written and then go to the oral
  • If the written mark is between 24 and 30: student can try again oral in the first following exam date

Final Score

The vote obtained at the oral exam will be weighted with the vote obtained at the written exam according to the credit (5 CFU for the written part and 4 CFU for the oral part):

(Written Score *5/9) + (oral score*4/9)

30 Lode obtained at the written exam is considered 32.

Teaching tools

Slides will be avaialble. 

Ultrasound live demonstrations during the frontal lessons

Office hours

See the website of Fabio Piscaglia