UW School of Dentistry

PATH 544

General and Systemic Pathology

William Mahoney

3, 2 Credits Per Quarter, 5 Credits Total / Quarter 2-3 (Winter-Spring, First Year)

Course Description

Basic pathologic processes that underlie disease, including cell alterations, genetic pathology; developmental and environmental pathology, genetic aspects of cancer and neoplasia, immunopathology and inflammation, and host responses. Correlates the gross, functional, and biochemical alterations. Survey of pathological processes affecting organs and systems pertinent to the practice of dentistry. Lectures present a coherent picture of systemic disease. For first year dental students and graduate students.

Educational Objectives

The student will gain knowledge in general pathology. The objectives for the course are for the student (1) to develop an understanding of the nature of injury and the various responses a living cell may undertake when subjected to injury, (2) to develop an understanding of the mechanisms and systems available to a living organism for fending off and responding to various forms of challenge in injury including the inflammatory response, immune response, function of the phagocytic cells, participation of the complement and clotting systems and other serum factors, (3) to be able to explain how these systems work, how they interact with one another, and how they may go awry and cause disease, (4) to develop an understanding of the basic pathologic processes which underlie all diseases such as neoplasia, thrombosis, infarction, and pathologic immune response (5) to build a foundation of knowledge of the basic pathologic processes on which subsequent studies of systemic disease and oral disease can be built, (6) to develop an understanding of important systemic diseases which are commonly encountered by the practicing dentist and which may affect dental diagnosis and therapy, (7) describe the salient features and clinical manifestations of pathologic processes involving development, bleeding disorders, cardiovascular pathology, endocrine pathology, gastrointestinal pathology, respiratory pathology, pathology of the central nervous system, bone and joint pathology, and renal and urinary pathology.

Course Outline

Topics discussed include: cell alterations (including introduction and nature of injury), host responses/inflammation (including microcirculation, leukocytes, immune responses, complement and chronic inflammation), tissue repair, neoplasia, genetic pathology (covering Mendelian genetics, genetic diseases, cytogenetics, cancer genetics, and cell alterations/genetic pathology), developmental pathology, environmental pathology, pathology of aging, bleeding disorders, cardiovascular pathology, endocrine pathology; gastro-intestinal pathology, respiratory pathology, neuropathology; bone and joint pathology, renal and liver pathology.

Course Expectations

To successfully meet the requirements of this course, the student is expected to attend lectures and demonstrate her/his understanding of lecture topics and reading through three midterm examinations and one final examination.

Competencies Addressed

  • UWSOD Competency 1: Examine a patient using contemporary diagnostic methods to evaluate the head and neck region and to reach a diagnosis of the patient’s oral and craniofacial health status.
  • UWSOD Competency 14: Manage periodontal diseases.


  • Robbins Basic Pathology, V. Kumar, A.K. Abbas, N. Fausto, R.N. Mitchell, 8 th Edition, 2007, Saunders/Elsevier.
  • Handouts
  • Website

*last updated: 12/1/2014