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Unit information: Coronary Artery Disease I in 2018/19

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Coronary Artery Disease I
Unit code SOCSM0003
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Johnson
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


This unit will introduce the clinical problem of coronary artery disease. It will provide an overview of the methods currently utilised for patient diagnosis and assessment of disease severity (from GP to clinic), such as ECG, angiogram, imaging (IVUS, PET) and biomarkers. The unit will provide a detailed overview of the underlying pathobiology of atherosclerosis including endothelial cell dysfunction, inflammation, smooth muscle cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis, plaque rupture, thrombosis and vessel occlusion. Furthermore, it will discuss the impact of genomics on cardiovascular disease, common risk factors (including hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes, smoking), and its epidemiology. Finally, this unit will outline the currently used drug treatments for coronary artery disease.

Intended learning outcomes

Students successfully completing this module will be able to:

  • Discuss the clinical problem of coronary artery disease.
  • Understand the pathobiology of atherosclerosis, which is the underlying cause of coronary artery disease.
  • Describe the methods currently utilised for patient assessment of coronary artery disease.
  • Understand the main risk factors, genomics and epidemiology of coronary artery disease.
  • Provide an overview of relevant ‘clinical pharmacology’ and the current pharmacological treatments used for coronary artery disease patients.

Teaching details

  • Web-based lectures, tutorials and practical demonstrations (in powerpoint-with-audio format)
  • Online discussion forum(s)
  • Self-directed study
  • Hands-on practical workshops held in Bristol.

Assessment Details

  1. Coursework (contributing a total of 60% to the unit) consisting of:
- 4 sets of multiple choice questions (MCQs) of a simple format (e.g. select an answer from a short number of options, true/false), each contributing 6.25% to the unit, giving a total of 25%. - 1 short essay contributing 20% to the unit. - 2 answer question sets or extended MCQs, giving a total of 15%.

Please note that students will be given formative feedback on all coursework assessment.

  1. Written exam (contributing a total of 40% to the unit and taken in Bristol) consisting of:

1 essay paper contributing 20% to the unit.

1 sets of MCQs contributing 20% to the unit.

Reading and References

  1. Fishbein, MC, The vulnerable and unstable atherosclerotic plaque. Cardiovascular Pathology;19(1):6-11.
  2. Farb, A, AP Burke, AL Tang, Y Liang, P Mannan, J Smialek, R Virmani, Coronary Plaque Erosion Without Rupture Into a Lipid Core : A Frequent Cause of Coronary Thrombosis in Sudden Coronary Death. Circulation, 1996;93(7):1354-1363.
  3. Alsheikh-Ali, AA, GD Kitsios, EM Balk, J Lau, S Ip, The Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaque: Scope of the Literature. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2010;153(6):387-W149.
  4. Libby, P, Inflammation in atherosclerosis. Nature, 2002;420:868-874.
  5. Libby, P, Y Okamoto, VZ Rocha, E Folco, Inflammation in Atherosclerosis: Transition From Theory to Practice. Circulation Journal, 2010;74(2):213-220.
  6. Toutouzas, K, M Drakopoulou, I Skoumas, C Stefanadis, Advancing therapy for hypercholesterolemia. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, 2010;11(10):1659-1672.