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Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems


Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems


Academic year 2021/2022

Course ID
Prof. Mauro Rinaldi (Lecturer)
Prof. Pasquale Pagliaro (Lecturer)
Prof.ssa Claudia Penna (Lecturer)
Prof.ssa Virginia De Rose (Coordinator)
Prof. Fabio Luigi Massimo Ricciardolo (Lecturer)
Prof. Carlo Albera (Lecturer)
Prof. Matteo Anselmino (Lecturer)
3rd year
Teaching period
Second semester
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
BIO/09 - fisiologia
MED/10 - malattie dell'apparato respiratorio
MED/11 - malattie dell'apparato cardiovascolare
MED/23 - chirurgia cardiaca
Formal authority
Type of examination
Written and oral
In depth knowledge of anatomy of cardio-vascular and respiratory system is required, as well as basics of cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, immunology and pathology.

Sommario del corso


Course objectives

The teaching aim is the acquisition by the student of in depth knowledge of physiology of cardio-vascular and respiratory systems and of epidemiology, etiology, pathogenetic mechanisms, pathophysiology, histopathology, clinical features and diagnosis of the cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases, as well as a rational approach to treatment of these diseases.

INTERACTIVE TEACHING OBJECTIVES: to carry out an accurate diagnostic approach to the patient with diseases of the cardiovascular and respiratory system and to develop decision-making capacity.

  • To acquire the ability to define the appropriate diagnostic investigations and critically assess their results.
  • To be able to discuss the rational and appropriate treatment of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as the preventive measures.

Results of learning outcomes

The student will acquire the necessary knowledge and the clinical skill for a correct diagnostic assessment and a proper clinical management of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases including the basics of an appropriate treatment.



Teaching includes the following modules:

Cardio-vascular and Respiratory Physiology

  • Myocardial function.
  • Spreading of impulse and heart muscle contraction, inotropic agents, ECG and Cardiac Catheterization.
  • Vessel elasticity and cardiac work, ventricular energy in relation to preload and afterload, heart failure.
  • Heart sounds and murmurs, conditions that can determine a reduction or an increase of cardiac output.
  • Arterial pulse.
  • Pressure-volume.
  • Pressure-flow capillary.
  • Blood pressure.
  • Genesis of varicose veins.
  • Valsalva maneuver.
  • Coronary flow and metabolic/endothelial control.
  • The coronary reserve and fractional flow reserve.
  • Myocardial hypertrophy and coronary risk.
  • Myocardial infarction and cardioprotection.
  • Blood pressure: methods of measurement and regulation in the short, medium and long term.
  • Hypertension, new aspects of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS receptors pro-renin ACE 2, testicular ACE, ouabain).
  • The cardiovascular response to extreme conditions: exercise, bleeding and shock.
  • Methods of investigation in cardiovascular field.
  • Respiratory mechanics.
  • Volumes and lung capacity, anatomical and physiological dead space.
  • Lung compliance.
  • Partial pressures of respiratory gases.
  • Gas exchange in the lungs.
  • Distribution and transport of respiratory gases.
  • Pulmonary flow and ventilation/perfusion.
  • Nervous and chemical control of respiration.

Cardiovascular Diseases

  • Cardiac anatomy and physiology.
  • Diagnostic methods.
  • Arrhythmias.
  • Syncope.
  • Sudden Cardiac Death.
  • Heart failure.
  • Ischemic heart disease.
  • Valvular heart diseases.
  • Congenital heart diseases.
  • Cardiomyopathies.
  • Channelopathies.
  • Endocarditis.
  • Myocarditis.
  • Pericardial disease.
  • Electrophysiology and haemodynamics.

Respiratory Diseases

  • Spirometry and bronchoscopy
  • Bronchial asthma.
  • Severe asthma and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • Bronchiectasis.
  • Bacterial, viral, fungal, protozoal lung infections.
  • Pulmonary Tuberculosis and other mycobacteriosis.
  • Interstitial lung diseases.
  • Occupational lung diseases.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Vascular disorders of the lung.
  • Pleural effusions.
  • Mesothelioma.
  • Sleep-disordered breathing.
  • Respiratory failure.

Cardiac Surgery

  • Cardiac valve surgery.
  • Myocardial revascularization.
  • The basics of Cardiac surgery.

Course delivery

Teaching is organized in 108 hours of front-end teaching (9 CFU) divided into 2 hours lessons and includes the following modules:

  • Cardio-vascular and Respiratory Physiology (2 CFU)
  • Diseases of the Respiratory System (3 CFU)
  • Diseases of the Cardiovascular System (3 CFU)
  • Cardiac Surgey (1 CFU)

Attendance is mandatory as well as the final examination.


Learning assessment methods

IMPORTANT NOTE: During the autumn session 2020-21 (September 2021) exams will take place online. The written test will be carried out following the same rules of the last session. The oral exam will be held via WebEx platform as in previous sessions.

Assessment method includes a 30 minutes written exam consisting of 20 multiple-choice questions and 1 long essay question focusing on Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology and an oral exam focusing on all other disciplines included in the course. The positive result of the written test will allow access to the oral exam. The written test may be valid, at the student's discretion, until the next exam session. If a student fails the oral exam, the written test has to be taken again.

Scores for the written test:

  • Multiple-choice questions:
    • + 1 point for each right answer;
    •  0 point for each missing answer;
    • - 0.25 point for each wrong answer.
  • Long-essay question: 0 to 4 points

Support activities

Teaching does not include support activities, however, students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the lecturers to adapt teaching activities and assessment methods.

Suggested readings and bibliography


  • Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Edition, McGraw-Hill;
  • Braunwald’s Heart Disease, 11th Edition, Elsevier;
  • John Camm. The ESC Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 3rd Edition, Oxford;
  • C Towsend, RD Beauchamp, BM Evers, K Mattox. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th    Saunders Elsevier. Philadelphia, 2012.

Further textbooks and/or scientific publications may be suggested.


Teaching Modules

  • Open
    Enrollment opening date
    01/03/2020 at 00:00
    Enrollment closing date
    31/12/2022 at 23:55
    Last update: 05/10/2021 19:26
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