PATH30040 GI/Hepatobiliary Diseases

Academic Year 2023/2024

The Gastrointestinal/Hepatobiliary module course outlines the pathological entities of the gastrointestinal tract and the hepatobiliary system, including the infectious agents causing some of these conditions. The drug treatment of these diseases is also covered in addition to the toxic effects drugs may have on these organ systems. The clinical presentation and behaviour of these diseases is also studied.We would like to remind all students taking this module that there is an expectation of full attendance for the scheduled tutorials.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the GI/Hepatobiliary Diseases Module, students should have improved their skills in 3 areas:
1.Biomedical Knowledge:
By being able to:
A) Describe the infectious and inflammatory diseases that may affect the gastointestinal tract, covering their aetiology and pathology. Compare and contrast ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
B) Illustrate the pathogenesis of peptic disease, including oesophagitis, gastritis and peptic ulcers. Describe the morphology of peptic ulcers.
C) Classify the aetiology of malabsorption and describe the clinicopathological features.
D) Describe ischaemic bowel disease including its aetiology and complications and outline mechanical and motility disorders affecting the gastrointestinal tract, both congenital and acquired.
E) Discuss neoplasms of the gastointestinal tract. Distinguish between neoplastic and non-neoplastic tumours. Describe the aetiology of the main cancers {oesophagus, stomach and large intestine}. Illustrate the adenoma-carcinoma sequence. Describe the clinicopathological features of the main tumours.
F) Describe the clinicopathological features of acute and chronic liver disease. Distinguish between the aetiological viruses. Outline the acute effects of alcohol on the liver. Demonstrate toxic effects of therapeutic agents on the liver.
G) Classify the causes of cirrhosis. Describe the clinicopathological features.
H) Describe the aetiology, pathogenesis and complications of gallstones.
I) Describe the aetiology and clinicopathological features of acute and chronic pancreatitis.
J) Discuss the neoplasms involving the hepatobiliary system and the neoplasms and cysts of the pancreas in terms of aetiology and clinicopathological features.
K) Describe the pharmacological strategies for treating peptic ulcer disease, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation and inflammatory bowel disease.

2.Clinical Skills:
By being able to:
A) Discuss and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment of peptic ulcer disease.
B) Discuss the appropriate treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases and be aware of the possible complications of treatment.
C) Formulate a logical approach to the investigation of upper and lower gastrointestinal tract bleeding.
D) Propose an approach to the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract.
E) Formulate an approach to the investigation of jaundice and abnormal liver function tests.
F) Describe the treatment options for the hepatitis viruses.
G) Recognise the signs and symptoms and the complications of liver failure and portal hypertension.

A) Participating in group-based interactive tutorials.
B) Assimilating the professional approach that gastroenterologists, microbiologists and hepatologists demonstrate in their clinical illustrations in lectures and case based tutorials.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Field Trip/External Visits


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The approach to study of pathology in this module is patient-centered. The goal of medicine to to reduce human suffering. Pathology is the study of suffering. People suffer. Cells and genes don't. Therefore, within the finite time afforded pathology in this program the emphasis in this module will be on recognizing the significance of consistent clinically observable phenomena associated with GI-Hepatobiliary illness and understanding the pathogenesis (sequence of events) by which they are manifest by means of lectures, online resources, structured discussion case -based tutorials.
An understanding of the granular molecular and cellular pathology underlying many of these conditions is desirable and in many cases necessary but for reasons of space is not always possible.
Therefore the aim is discuss pathology starting with the clinical manifestations and working back to the specific causes as far as is practical rather than starting with putative root causes and only getting to the practical implications (time-permitting) at the end.
There will be emphasis on the structured approach to the diagnosis and study of disease with particular stress on commonalities shared by illnesses in the GI Hepatobiliary system and systems covered elsewhere in the program. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Students are required to have a background in human physiology and biochemistry and to have studied mechanisms of disease including inflammation, healing and repair, and principles of neoplasia.
They are also required to have studied the
Gastrointestinal tract and Liver biology module (MDSA20010) or a module with equivalent learning outcomes (such as PHYS30090). This elective is only available to Health Science students.

Learning Exclusions:

Students who have taken the GI/GU module (MDSA 30200) are excluded from taking this module.

Learning Recommendations:

It is recommended that all students intending to take this as an elective module contact the module co-ordinator.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
MDSA20010 - GIT/Liver Biology, PATH30190 - Oncology & Immunopathology, PHYS30090 - Digestion and Excretion

PATH30080 - Disease Mechanisms & Pharmacol

MDSA30200 - GI/GU Illness, PATH30200 - GI/GU Illness

Additional Information:
Required modules: GIT/Liver Biology (MDSA20010) OR Digestion, Absorption & Excretion (PHYS30090) AND Disease Disease Mechanisms and Pharmacology (MDSA/PATH30080) AND Oncology and Immunopathology (PATH30190).

GI/Hepatobiliary Diseases (MDSA30010)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Examination: Pathology: Case-vignette-based pathogenesis, prognosis and complications short essay question. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: 30 single best answer (a-e) Multiple choice questions 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: Pathology: Case-vignette-based diagnosis and defense essay question. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: Medical microbiology: Case vignette-based short answer questions. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: Pharmacology: Case vignette based short answer questions. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Group feedback on common errors and omission will be posted for the assignment within the specified time limits. Individual marks and qualitative, directive feedback will be posted (hopefully within the specified 20 working days). There will be an online formative MCQ with automated feedback.

Name Role
Dr Koon-Meng Chan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Helen Gallagher Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Peter Holloway Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Jan Iglesias Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Eoghan O'Connor Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Noreen Sheehy Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Craig Slattery Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Sami Termanini Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr William Watson Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Sara Dakir Tutor
Dr Suzy Fitzgerald Tutor
Dr Marguerite Lawler Tutor
Dr Michael Strader Tutor
Dr Alexandros Sykaras Tutor