Clinical biochemistry

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The teaching aims to provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge for the understanding and use of current laboratory tests, through the knowledge of analytical principles, optimization processes and their interpretation.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student will acquire the knowledge of the analytical principles at the base of the most frequent laboratory tests, on the processes for the optimization of laboratory tests, on the current events in the market of national and international diagnostic producers. From a communicative point of view, the student will be able to explain and interpret the chemical-clinical examinations. The course will provide the basic principles to facilitate the future integration of Biologists in the field of Laboratory Medicine.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
General organization of the clinical laboratory
Pre-analytical phase (sample collection and storage; biological variability)
analytical variability (evaluation of laboratory methods, quality assurance)
Interpretation of laboratory tests (reference intervals, decisional limits, ROC curves)
Principles of clinical enzymology
Principles of immunochemical methods applied to laboratory diagnostics
Cardiac biomarkers
Tests for liver function
Tests for kidney function
Tests for the evaluation of anemias and iron disorders
Tests for laboratory management of diabetes
Biomarkers for bone disorders
Serum proteins and inflammation biomarkers
Tumor markers
Prerequisites for admission
It is advisable to have acquired basic knowledges of biochemistry and general physiology.
Teaching methods
The course is based on interactive lessons supported by projected materials. Students are stimulated to actively participate to the lecture/discussion in order to improve their critical spirit. This is achieved by carefully looking at the provided literature and by communicating their concepts in an adequate mode. The attendance to the lectures is strongly advised.
Teaching Resources
The presentations of all the lectures are available through the Ariel website, as well as the suggested readings (usually one reading per lecture).
Reference textbooks are the following:

1) Marcello Ciaccio, Giuseppe Lippi. Biochimica Clinica e Medicina di Laboratorio. EdiSES srl, Napoli, 2018.
2) Elisabetta Albi con Tommaso Beccari e Samuela Cataldi. Biochimica clinica essenziale, dal laboratorio ai quadri di patologia clinica. Zanichelli, Bologna, 2019.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written exam with 3 open questions, to be completed in 90 min. The evaluation is independently performed by 2 teachers by judging how completely the questions have been answered, the presence of errors, and if the student has proven a complete knowledge of the matter. The evaluations are averaged. No pre-test or intermediate assays are planned. The results are communicated through the dedicated University web-site(
Lessons: 48 hours