Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Renal System

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

DESCRIPTION Important aspects and fundamental concepts of normal renal function and anatomy provide the core material of the unit. Emphasis is placed on the clinical relevance of important physiologic and anatomical principles.

In addition to lectures, students will be exposed to practical hands-on physiology and anatomy demonstrations in the physiology, clinical anatomy, dissection, histology, imaging, pathology and computer laboratories. During these sessions students are stimulated to perform specified tasks and guided as to what is expected of them through worksheets. Observation visits to a variety of clinical and/or laboratory sites will be offered as appropriate. Students will also be required to participate in regular online (Moodle) case-based group discussions followed by in-depth analysis of the underlying scientific basis of common clinical conditions through facilitated Critical Thinking Sessions. These are based on carefully selected clinical cases that are intended to stimulate the student to think and discuss critically the presented problems and to formulate basic scientific and clinical concepts as well as ethical, behavioural and professional principles.

The study-unit will also include Seminars wherein clinicians together with experts in various disciplines will discuss common clinical conditions and supplement the clinical information presented in the Critical Thinking Sessions.

The common features of these learning sessions is that they involve active participation, are student centered and conducive to independent learning as a prelude to continuing life-long education.

Study-unit Aims

This study-unit provides a foundation for the clinical evaluation and management of patients with renal disease. It provides students in the biomedical sciences with an integrated approach to the study of the urinary system including the gross and microscopic anatomy, how the renal system functions in health and disease, and an introduction to laboratory tests of renal function, imaging of the urinary system and the relevant therapeutics.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Correlate the structure and function of the renal system

2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills): By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Name the gross and microscopic features, blood supply and innervation of the upper and lower urinary tract and their clinical correlates
2. Outline the surface projections and methods of clinical examination of the components of the renal tract
3. Identify on prosected specimens, and on radiological, CT and MRI images the components of the renal system
4. Outline the development of the renal tract and how this relates to common developmental anomalies
5. Discuss the physiology of body fluid compartments and mechanisms by which body maintains its homeostasis
6. Outline factors determining glomerular filtration and its autoregulation, transport mechanisms responsible for NaCl and water reabsorption by the nephron
7. Discuss the major hormones regulating NaCl and water reabsorption in the kidneys as well as plasma K+ and Ca++ levels and their sites of action
8. Describe the role of loop of Henle and vasa recta in production of a dilute and concentrated urine
9. Apply the principles of acid-base homeostasis to simple hypothetical clinical situations
10. Describe the effects of diuretics on the kidneys and effective circulating volume and name the primary nephron site where each class of diuretics acts.
11. Interpret inulin and creatinine clearance to measure glomerular filtration in patients
12. Perform urinalysis
13. Interpret simple clinical cases involving the renal system (including oedematous states, glomerular diseases, renal failure, ureteric pain, and urinary tract infections) in terms of disordered anatomy and physiology and the basic drugs used to treat these conditions
14. Describe the basic ethical principles as applied to dialysis and organ transplantation.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Main Text for Physiology

Textbook of Medical Physiology
Ed. Guyton & Hall; Saunders
11th Edition, 2006
ISBN: 978-0-7216-0240-0

Further reading: "Renal Physiology" (Ed. Koeppen & Stanton; Mosby)

Main Texts for Anatomy

Clinical Anatomy by Regions, Richard. S. Snell, 8th Edition
January 2007, Lipincott
ISBN-10: 0-7817-6404-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-7817-6404-9

Clinical Anatomy by Systems, Richard. S. Snell, April 2006
ISBN-10: 0-7817-9164-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-7817-9164-9

Grays Dissection guide for Human Anatomy, Morton, Peterson and Albertine

Imaging Atlas of Human Anatomy, Weir, Jamie and Abrahams, Peter, 3rd Edittion, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-0-7234-3211-1; ISBN-10: 0-7234-3211-2

Young Lowe, Stevens, Heath and Deakin
Wheater's functional Histology. A text and colour atlas. 5th Edition, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0-443-06850-8 ISBN-10: 0-443-06850-X. Imprint: CHURCHILL LIVINGSTONE

T.W. Sadler
Langman's Medical Embryology Edition: 10th Paperback, 2006
ISBN-10: 0781794854 ; ISBN-13: 9780781794855

Main Text for Pathology

General and Systematic Pathology, JCE Underwood, 4th Edition,
ISBN 0443073341, Churchill Livingstone or
2. Robbins Basic Pathology, V Kumar, A K Abbas, N Fausto, R Mitchell, 8th Edition ISBN1416029737, Saunders

Main Texts for Pharmacology

P. N. Bennett, Morris J. Brown
Clinical Pharmacology: With STUDENTCONSULT Access (Paperback)
10th Edition. Churchill Livingston (2007)
ISBN-10: 0443102449 ISBN-13: 978-0443102448

Humphrey P. Rang, Maureen M. Dale, James M. Ritter BM, Rod Flower
Pharmacology: With STUDENT CONSULT Online Access (Paperback)
6th Edition Churchill Livingstone (2007)
ISBN-10: 0443069115 ISBN-13: 978-0443069116

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Practical Yes 5%
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 95%

LECTURER/S Jean Calleja Agius
Ramona Camilleri
Emmanuel Farrugia
Janet Mifsud
Nikolai Pace
Cristoforo Pomara
Neville Vassallo (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2018/9, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.