School of Medicine
University of Patras
>University of Patras
Undergraduate Courses

Embryology II

Semester 3rd ()

Hours 1 (lect.)



ECTS Credits
Course Type
Basic Knowledge
Prerequisite Courses
Teaching and Assessment Language
The Course is Offered to Erasmus Students
Course Webpage (url)ΜED943

Course Content

  • Cardiovascular System.
    • Formation and establishment of the Cardiogenic Field.
    • Formation and position of the Heart Tube.
    • Formation of the cardiac loop.
    • Molecular regulation of cardiac development.
    • Development of the Sinus Venosus.
    • Formation of the cardiac septa (Septum formation of the Common Atrium, Septum formation of the Atrioventricular Canal
    • , Septum Formation in the Truncus Arteriosus and Conus Cordis, Septum Formation of the Ventricles).
    • Formation of Atrioventricular and Semilunar Valves.
    • Formation of the Conducting System of the Heart.
    • Vascular Development
    • Molecular regulation of cardiac and vessels  development
    • Congenital Cardiovascular System Defects.
  • Respiratory System.
    • Tubulogenesis and branching Morphogenesis. 
    • Formation of the Respiratory Primordium (Laryngotracheal Groove, Laryngotracheal Diverticulum, Tracheoesophageal Folds
    • Tracheoesophageal septum, formation of the Larynx,  Trachea, Bronchi and Lungs).
    • Maturation of the Lungs (Pseudoglandular Period, Canalicular Period, Terminal Sac Period, Alveolar Period)
    • . Molecular regulation of respiratory system development
    • Congenital Respiratory System Defects.
    • Clinical Correlation - Clinical Problems to Solve.
  • Endocrine System Development.
    • Pharyngeal Arches and Pharyngeal Pouches.
    • Epithelial Endodermal Lining of the Pouches and their Derivates (Parathyroid Glands, Thymus Gland, Thyroid Gland).
    • The Formation of Thyroid Gland, Migration of Thyroid bud and Thyroglossal Duct.
    • Ultimobranchial Bodies and Parafollicular Cells. 
    • The Formation of Thymus Gland.
    • The Formation of Parathyroid Glands.
    • Congenital Endocrine System Defects.
    • Clinical Correlations - Clinical problems to solve.
    • Suprarenal Glands Development (Mesodermal Portion - Cortex and Ectodermal Portion Medulla).
    • Fetal Cortex and Definitive Cortex.
    • Clinical Correlations - Clinical problems to solve.
    • he development of Hypophysis or Pituitary Gland (from two different parts) 1. Diencephalon extension the Infundibulum. Ectodermal
    • Outpocheting of Primitive Oral Cavity: the Rathke Pouch.
    • Clinical Correlations - Clinical problems to solve.
    • The most caudal part of the Roof Plate of the Diencephalon and the development of Pineal Gland.
    • Molecular regulation of endocrine  system development
    • Congenital Endocrine System Defects.
    • Clinical Correlations - Clinical problems to solve.
  • Digestive System Development.
    • Divisions of the Gut Tube.
    • Foregut: Esophagus, Stomach, Duodenum, Liver and Biliary Apparatus and Pancreas Development.
    • Clinical Correlations - Clinical problems to solve.
    • Midgut: Derivates (Small Intestine, Cecum, Appendix, Ascending Colon and the Right one half to two Thirds of the Transverse Colon).
    • Primary Intestinal Loop, Physiological Herniation, Rotation of Midgut, Retraction of Herniated Loops, Mesenteries of the Intestinal Loops.
    • Clinical Correlations - Clinical problems to solve.
    • Hindgut Derivates: the Left One Third to one half  of the Tansverse Colon, the Descending Colon, Sigmoid Colon,
    • Rectum and Superior Part of the Anal Canal.
    • Molecular regulation of Digestive System Development
    • Congenital Digestive System Defects.
    • Clinical Correlations - Clinical problems to solve.
  • Urogenital System Development.
    • Kidney Systems Development: Pronephros, Mesonephros and Metanephros.
    • Interaction of Ureteric bud with Mesenchyma.
    • Development of Renal Pelvis and the Major and Minor Calyces. 
    • The Weigert – Meyer rule - Mechanisms of Vesicoureteral reflux.
    • Bladder and Urethra Development.
    • Congenital Urinary System anomalies.
    • Gonadal Development: Comparative Embryology: Male - Female.
    • Gonadal Maturation. 
    • Interaction of Gonads with the Internal Genital Organs.
    • External Genitalia Development - Influence of Hormonal Factors.
    • Molecular regulation of Digestive System Development
    • Congenital Urogenital System Defects.
    • Clinical Correlations - Clinical problems to solve.
    • Head and Neck Development:
    • Pharyngeal Arches, Pharyngeal Clefts, Pharyngeal Pouches and their Derivates.
    • Facial Development.
    • Molecular regulation of Head and Neck Development
    • Congenital Head and Neck Defects.
    • Clinical Correlations - Clinical problems to solve.
  • Ear Development.
    • Internal Ear Development.
    • Middle Ear Development.
    • External Ear Development.
    • Molecular regulation of Ear Development
    • Congenital Ear Defects.
    • Clinical Correlations - Clinical problems to solve.
  • Eye Development:
    • Optic Cup and Lens Vesicle.
    • Retina, Iris and Ciliary Body Development.
    • Lens Development.
    • Choroid, Sclera and Cornea Development.
    • Vitreous Body Development
    • Molecular regulation Eye Development
    • Congenital Eye Defects.
    • Clinical Correlations - Clinical problems to solve.

Teaching and Learning Methods - Αssessment

Teaching Method

Lectures, face to face. 

Use of Information and Communication Technologies

Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (e.g. powerpoint, videos, virtual microscopy) in teaching. 
Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (e.g. powerpoint) in teacher-student communication
The lectures content of the course for each chapter are uploaded on the internet (e-class) , in the form of a series of ppt files, where from the students can freely download them using a password which is provided to them at the beginning of the course. 

Teaching Organization

Activity Semester Workload
Lectures 14
Hours of private study 36
Total number of hours for the Course (25 hours of work-load per ECTS credit) 50  hours (total student work-load)


Student Assessment

Written examination in Greek at the end of the semester (multiple choice questions, true-false, short answers, clinical problem solving, identification of structures in photos from diagrams and  microscopic slides )
Minimum passing grade:  5 .

The examination documents are retained for 5 years and are readily available to students.




Learning Outcomes

The objective of Human  Embryology II course is  to help the student understand  how the organs are formed.Medical embryology traditionally covers not only the normal human development but also the  defects in embryonic development.  Is of practical value in helping to understand the causes of variation in Human Structure and  contributes to the understanding of Congenital Defects-Malformations.

By the end of this course the student will have acquired:

  1. Understanding and thorough knowledge of the morphogenesis process  based on underlying molecular, genetic, cellular and tissue events
  2. Understanding the structural sequence of development of the body and its various organ systems
  3. Embryology II is a powerful adjunct to an in-depth understanding of gross anatomical pattern. When  the anatomical understanding is combined with the insight gained from molecular and cellular studies, the student can gain a profound knowledge of not only what happens, but why
  4. A medical embryology course should provide to the student the scientific basis for understanding mechanisms underlying both normal and abnormal development. From the medical perspective, one of the major justifications for studying embryology is to provide a basis for understanding the genesis of birth defects. 
  5. The ability to apply this knowledge in order to understand mechanisms of human disease.
  6. The appropriate background information and knowledge that bridges basic science to clinical science (obstetrics, pediatrics etc)
  7. The ability to analyze and synthesize acquired knowledge with clinical information in certain clinical problem settings (Problem-Based Learning)

General Abilities

Generally, by the end of this course the student will, furthermore, have develop the following general abilities (from the list above):
Searching, analysis and synthesis of facts and information, as well as using the necessary technologies 
Adaptation to new situations 
Decision making 
Autonomous (Independent) work 
Group work
Excercise of criticism and self-criticism 
Promotion of free, creative and inductive thinking 

Reading Material

  1. Developing Human: Clinically oriented embryology. Moore Keith L., Persaud T.V.N. Broken Hill Publishers Ltd . First edition, 2009
  2. Human Embryology and Developmental Anatomy  Carlson. Publisher: Books Parisianou. 4th edition. 2013