65630 - Clinical Pathology

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

Describe the laboratory skills and techniques used in clinical pathology, and discuss their application. Recognize and discuss the clinical meaning of laboratory data which characterize the following pathological conditions: acute and chronic inflammations; coagulation disorders; lipid disorders; hepatic disorders, renal disorders; diabetes; acid-base disorders.

Course contents

Diagnostic Technology

In the present integrated course different approaches involved in the diagnostic process are presented and critically discussed.

These include:

- the skills and methodologies associated with diagnostic surgical pathology, cytopathology, molecular pathology and autopsy pathology.

- the principles of innovative technologies for substitutive medicine (artificial organs) and regenerative medicine.

- skills and techniques used in clinical pathology to understand the clinical meaning of laboratory data which characterize common pathological conditions.

- the clinical biochemistry skills and techniques to evaluate the functional state of organs and tissues, using liquid and solid samples from patients.

- principles and applications of the major techniques used in radiology and nuclear medicine, the principal sources of radiological risk and the relevant protective measures for operators and patients.

- principles and applications of molecular tests, including advanced genomic technologies, in the diagnosis of genetic diseases.


In particular concerning Clinical Pathology the following topics will be included:

Module 1

- The diagnistic laboratory in the evaluation of haemostatic function. Laboratory tests for the evaluation of platelet function, of the plasma coagulation phase and of the fibrinolytic system; laboratory tests for the definition of hypercoagulability. Physiopathology of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC); markers of activation of the coagulation system; markers of activation of the fibrinolytic system; markers of consumption of coagulation factors.

- Laboratory diagnosis of dyslipoproteinemias. Plasma lipoproteins and their metabolism; lipoproteins and atherosclerosis; quantitative and qualitative assessment of lipoproteins.

- Laboratory tests in the diagnostic evaluation of diabetes. Classification of diabetes; metabolic alterations of diabetes; laboratory tests for the diagnosis of diabetes and for monitoring the diabetic patient.

- Laboratory tests in the diagnostic evaluation of disorders of acid-base balance. Blood gas analysis in the diagnostic definition of simple and complex disorders of the acid-base balance.


Module 2

- Serum proteins. Electrophoretic separation of serum proteins; electrophoretic profiles associated with specific disorders; acute phase proteins and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).

- First level laboratory tests for the study of liver function. Bilirubin and urobilinogen; serum enzymes indicating cytolysis and cholestasis, albumin / globulin ratio; coagulation factors.

- Laboratory tests for the study of renal function. Urine test (chemical, physical and sediment); determination of the blood concentration of non-protein nitrogen compounds (uremia - BUN, creatininemia and uricemia), clearance tests, functional dilution and concentration tests.

- Tumor markers: limits and applications of tumor markers in the diagnosis and in the follow-up of the neoplastic patient. Innovative tumor markers


Laboratory Medicine Diagnosis of Disease in Clinical Laboratory - Michael Laposata. McGraw-Hill, 2014.
ISBN 9780071805544

Teaching methods

Frontal teaching

Attendance to learning activities is mandatory; the minimum attendance requirement to be admitted to the final exam is 60% of lessons. For Integrated Courses (IC), the 60% attendance requirement refers to the total amount of I.C. lessons. Students who fail to meet the minimum attendance requirement will not be admitted to the final exam of the course, and will have to attend relevant classes again during the next academic year.

Professors may authorise excused absences upon receipt of proper justifying documentation, in case of illness or serious reasons. Excused absences do not count against a student’s attendance record to determine their minimum attendance requirement.

Assessment methods

Final evaluation will be performed by means of a joint test on all topics covered in the integrated course. The test will be based on 40 multiple choice questions (4 available aswers, only one is correct). In general, at least 5 questions from each different teaching module will be included in the test. The exam is passed (score 18) when at least 24 questions are correctly answered. When all the questions are answered correctly the final score will be 30, with honours

Teaching tools

The slides shown during the lessons will be made available to Insegnamenti On Line. Access is reserved to Bologna University students.

Office hours

See the website of Lorenzo Montanaro

See the website of Michelangelo Fiorentino