02359 - General Pathology and Physiopathology (LZ-A)

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 Quality education Oceans Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student: - has clear the concepts of disease etiology and pathogenesis. He/she also knows the etiology of disease processes and the pathogenic mechanism of their development. He/she knows the basic defense mechanisms involved in response to pathogens; the morphological alterations that they cause in cells and tissues and their systemic and functional consequences for the organism. He/she- is able to connect molecular, morphological, microbiological, immunological and physiological knowledge, with the etiopathogenesis of disease processes. He/she is able to use the knowledge of pathology and physiopathology for the critical interpretation of experimental and clinical data. He/she is able to understand the reasons of the signs and symptoms of disease and possesses the basis for the evidence based clinical practice.

Course contents


Environmental Pathology. Ionizing radiations and UV light. Electricity as a cause of disease. High and low temperatures as a cause of damage. Smoking-related diseases. Disease related with ethanol abuse. Microbiota in health and disease.

Cellular and extracellular pathology. Free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Mechanisms of formation and effects on tissues. Enzymatic and non-enzymatic protection systems. Cellular adaptations: hypertrophy, hyperplasia, atrophy, metaplasia, dystrophy. Cell injury and cell death: cell swelling; morphology and molecular aspects of necrosis and apoptosis. Anoikis, autophagy, entosis. Intracellular and extracellular accumulations: steatosis, amyloidosis, pathological calcifications. Molecular basis of Alzheimer disease and of prion diseases. Biological basis of aging: role of telomeres and of oxidative metabolism, progeroid syndromes. Relationship between senescence and cancer.

Inflammation, regeneration, and repair. Acute inflammation: cells and mediators of inflammation, formation of exudate, chemotaxis, phagocytosis, NETs and netosis. Neutrophils and bacterial biofilm. Chronic and granulomatous inflammation. Pathogenesis of tuberculosis. Pneumoconiosis. Tissue regeneration and repair, wound healing. Pathological outcomes of inflammation and repair. Sclerosis, cirrhosis.

General pathophysiology. Hypoxia and cyanosis. Stress and diseases. Thermoregulation, non-febrile hyperthermias, malignant hyperthermia, fever. Thrombosis and embolism. Atherosclerosis: risk factors, formation of the atheromatous plaque, consequences. Other arteriosclerosis: Mönckeberg's arteriosclerosis (medial calcific arteriosclerosis) and arteriolosclerosis. Pathogenesis of hypertension, shock, infarction. Etiopathogenesis of diabetes mellitus and its complications. Diabesity and metabolic syndrome. Edema. Hypoxia, cyanosis.


Pontieri G.M. “Patologia Generale e Fisiopatologia Generale", VI Edizione, 2019, Piccin Editore

Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC. “Robbins & Cotran - Pathologic Basis of Disease, 9th edition, 2015, Elsevier Ed.

McCance KL, Huether SE "Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children", 7th edition, Elsevier, 2014

Teaching methods

A total of 64 hour of lectures.

Assessment methods

The oral exam aims to assess whether the student has acquired an appropriate knowledge and has reached the expected goals. The student's ability to focus on the different topics of the general pathology and pathophysiology program will be evaluated. The capability of making logical-deductive links, also referring to the specific morphological alterations, will be evaluated. Conceptual linearity and language adequacy will be taken into consideration as additional elements of evaluation. The examen includes the observation and oral description of a histopathological preparation until the recognition of the specific pathological findings.

Graduation of the final mark

Insufficient: lacunous preparation. Serious and repeated conceptual errors.

18-19: knowledge of basic concepts without serious gaps. Concepts and language within acceptable levels.

20-24: knowledge of the basic concepts without gaps. Ability to analyze and create connections in a partially autonomous way. Concepts and language in the average.

25-29: good or very good preparation, or even excellent but with inaccuracies that compromise the achievement of full marks. Presentation of concepts in the right succession. Good language.

30-30L: complete, consolidated, excellent preparation without any imprecision. Ability to contextualize and profile topics. Presentation of concepts in the right succession. Very good language.

The results from the general pathology and pathophysiology examinations will contribute 2/3 (1/3 +1/3) to the final mark. These examinations will take place together with the laboratory examination. The latter will contribute 1/3 to the final mark. The final mark will derive from the arithmetic average of the marks reported in the three examinations. If this result is a fraction of a unit, the next higher (for --, 66 values) or lower (for --, 33 values) whole number will be taken as the final mark. Laude will be given to the student who was proposed by at least one of the three Professors and only if full marks (30/30) were reached in all three examinations.

Teaching tools

Slides are available on the "Virtuale" platform.

Office hours

See the website of Carla Renata Arciola