69882 - Pneumology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

Describe the clinical manifestations, etiology, epidemiology, risk factors, natural history, diagnosis, staging, prognostic indicators and management of the major respiratory diseases, with emphasis on those most commonly encountered in the clinical practice. Identify the major diagnostic and therapeutic options for each encountered clinical scenario, and discuss their benefits and limitations. Summarize decision-making algorithms for a correct differential diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment choice. Present and critically analyze clinical cases, discuss the differential diagnosis, and formulate appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for each case (Problem-Based Learning).

Course contents



- Epidemiology of respiratory disorders (i.e. the prevalence and incidence of these diseases, the risk factors and the economical burden)

  • Mechanics of breathing (i.e. how we breathe, compliance, resistance and their changes during a disease)
  • Pulmonary Function Tests (i.e. from simple spirometry, to plethismography and diffusion capacity tests)
  • Respiratory failure (i.e. diagnosis and mechanisms of acute and chronic respiratory failure)
  • Oxygen therapy (i.e. the way of administration and the devices used during acute respiratory failure and long-term oxygen therapy)
  • Organ support (i.e. how to support the failing lung with noninvasive, invasive mechanical ventilation and extracorporeal CO2 removal)
  • Dyspnea (assessment and mechanisms of the main respiratory symptom)


  • Asthma (i.e. epidemiology, symptoms, diagnosis,

    prognosis and excursus on the main treatments)

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) (i.e. i.e. epidemiology, symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis and excursus on the main treatments)
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis (i.e. epidemiology, symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis and excursus on the main treatments of both idiophatic and secondary fibrosis)
  • Bronchiectasis (i.e. epidemiology, symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis and excursus on the main treatments)
  • Pneumonia (i.e. epidemiology, symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis and excursus on the main treatments of Community Acquired Pneumonia and Hospital Acquired Pneumonia)
  • Patient-doctor communication (i.e. the delivering of bad news in respiratory patients and related end-of-life decisions)



The materials provided on the website, including slides, videos and scientific guidelines and papers)

Suggested textbook

  • Harrison textbook
  • The John Hopkins Internal Medicine Board Review
  • Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine Review

Teaching methods

Teaching methods

Slides will be provided 24-48 hrs before the lessons.

Interactive lectures where general rules are derived from practical examples taken from everyday experience.

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

The final exam/final summative assessmentwill be an oral exam/assessment consisting of questions focusing on the educational objectives and topics of the integrated course of Thoracic and Vascular Diseases (I.C.)

Professors of the integrated courses participate in an overall collegial assessment of the student's final profit. The final summative assessment is expressed with a scale of grades from 18 to 30.

  • The final assessment (final summative assessment) is passed with a collegial grade of a minimum 18/30
  • Honors (cum laude) can be awarded in case of a final maximum collegial assessment (30/30)
  • The credits of the Integrated Course of Thoracic and Vascular Diseases (14 CFU) are awarded with a collegial grade of a minimum 18/30

If it is necessary to appoint several subcommittees for the same final summative assessment, the student has the right to ask, in advance, not later than the beginning of the assessment, to be assessed also by the professor responsible of the discipline

The final summative assessment takes also into account the level of mastery of the key concepts illustrated in the classroom, critical thinking and the ability to integrate the key concepts and take-home messages of the different modules of the integrated course.

Failure to pass the exam may be due to insufficient knowledge of these concepts.

Teaching tools

Audio visual tools will be the main tools in the lectures

Together with slides, videos showing some procedures (i.e. thoracenthesis), guidelines and major up-to-date articles will be provided also on line in the dedicated repository.

Office hours

See the website of Stefano Nava

See the website of Paolo Carbonara