LABORATORY MEDICINE TECHNICAL SCIENCES
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The objective of the course is to provide students with the essential knowledge for the understanding of the underlying principles of the laboratory methods of chemical-clinic investigations for the detection of biochemical alteration markers in pathological conditions and for the critical evaluation of the results for the purposes of the profession of biomedical laboratory technician.
In particular, the course aims to:
- provide adequate knowledge on aspects related to pre-analytical and analytical variability;
- provide adequate specific notions of chemical and instrumental analytical techniques and immunochemical methods used in the clinical laboratory on biological samples;
- provide the basis for understanding the technical and organizational evolution of clinical laboratory;
- provide adequate knowledge for the understanding of the principles of interpretation of laboratory tests;
- define the criteria for the evaluation of new analytical systems;
- provide the basis for the evaluation of diagnostic laboratory tests whether manual, semi-automatic or automatic in relation to the use of both internal and external Quality Controls;
- define the role of the laboratory in clinical risk management and appropriateness.
The student will demonstrate to understand and be able to independently use the basic concepts of each topic.
In particular, the student will:
- acquire the knowledge essential for a better understanding of the chemical and instrumental methods and immunochemical techniques as well as the diagnostic significance of biochemical parameters which are of greater relevance to the profession of biomedical laboratory technician;
- possess the essential knowledge relating to: pre-analytical error, analytical and biological variability, quality control, decision-making and critical values, sensitivity and specificity of laboratory investigations;
- be able to understand the main parameters for evaluation of a laboratory test;
- have acquired a basic understanding of the technical evolution and organization of the clinical chemistry laboratory;
- have acquired the knowledge of the main methods of laboratory investigations of the major biochemical alterations in pathological situations.
Course contents summary
- Laboratory tests: definition, types and methods of requesting.
- Collection, treatment and storage of biological materials. Properties and characteristics of biological samples.
- Quality control in the clinical chemistry laboratory.
- Biological and analytical variability.
- Analytical characteristics of a laboratory assay: accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, ROC curve, reference values, sources of error.
- Immunochemical diagnostic techniques in immunology: immunodiffusion, immunoelectrophoresis and immunofixation, nephelometry, enzyme immunoassay (ELISA direct, indirect and competitive type, detection strategies, enzymes and substrates), enzyme immunoassays, Western Blotting, spectrophotometric techniques.
Widmann “Interpretazione clinica degli esami di laboratorio”, Ronald A. Sacher and Richard A. McPherson. Edizione italiana a cura di Giancarlo Gazzola, Renata Franchi, Valeria Dall’Asta, Ovidio Bussolati, Roberto Sala.
Lectures accompanied by visual aids will be used to convey critical information on the topics relating to the course content.
Assessment methods and criteria
Learning outcomes will be verified through an oral examination. Questions on the topics relating to the course content will be used to test the student’s knowledge and understanding in the field, and her/his ability to apply the knowledge and understanding in occupational contexts.