Cardiac and vascular pathology





Direction: Chiara Carturan, Tel. 049-827.2280/821.1336, Email

Teaching: Alessandra Cervellin, Tel. 049-827.2288, Email

National Health System: Donatella Salmaso, Tel. 049-827.2287/821.1330,


The Pathology Unit carries out high quality analysis and performance in the cardio-thoraco-vascular setting on biopsy, surgical, cytologic and autopsy samples. Histopathological, ultrastructural, molecular and genetic investigations are routinely performed.
Cardiovascular pathology: the pathologists have many years of experience in the gross and histopathological diagnostics of a broad spectrum of congenital and acquired cardiovascular diseases. In particular, they represent a national and international referral center for sudden death in the young, heredo-family heart diseases, cardiomyopathies and myocarditis, conduction sistem diseases, congenital heart diseases, sudden infant death (SDIS) and intrauterine death (SIUD) syndromes, valve and vascular prostheses, masses/tumors, peripheral vessel diseases/vasculitis, and heart transplant pathology. The Unit carries out diagnostic activities on endomyocardial biopsies for all cardiological centers in the Veneto Region as well as for other centers at national level through conventions with the Hospital Administrations, with special reference to myocarditis, interstitial and storage diseases. The diagnostic approach to these disease entities makes use of a weekly clinico-pathologic discussion with a multidisciplinary team that involves colleagues from the clinics (such as cardiology, first aid, resuscitation, medical clinic, etc.) and surgery (cardiac surgery and vascular surgery) units. The UOC is also a reference for the study of the explanted hearts of cardiac transplant patients and for their monitoring, through active participation in the Multidisciplinary Group of Heart Transplantation of Padua.

Autopsies: referral unit for diagnostic autopsies for congenital and acquired cardiovascular diseases and lung diseases, post-transplant failure, sudden deaths, specific cardiovascular questions, consultations for cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases from diagnostic, biopsy and autopsy findings.

Heart transplant pathology and regenerative medicine: processing and management of samples requiring pathological and/or molecular diagnosis related to heart transplant patients and samples dedicated to the study of cardiovascular regeneration both for diagnosis and research purposes.
Fetal-placental pathology: diagnosis on fetuses for voluntary termination of pregnancy and spontaneous abortions >14 weeks of gestation. In addition, the placentas of SIUD fetal cases are diagnosed.
Odontostomatological pathology: diagnosis on cytological, surgical specimens of the oral cavity
Renal pathology: diagnosis on renal biopsies for non-neoplastic pathologies
Molecular pathology: research of viral and mycobacterial genomes on tissue and blood in case of suspected heart, lung and inflammatory diseases.
Ultrastructural pathology: electron microscopy diagnostic tests including scanning EM, tissue microanalysis, transmission EM and immunogold (systemic storage diseases, interstitial diseases, kidney diseases, etc.)
Cardiovascular genetics: diagnostic molecular genetics by Next Generation Sequencing in heredo-familial heart disease at risk of sudden death by the National Health System, which are exempt from services on suspected diagnosis of rare disease (ex art.5 co.2 - D.M. 18.05.2001 n.279).

Main technologies / surgical approaches:
• X-Ray of pathology specimens
• Scanning electron microscopy / microanalysis
• Transmission electron microscopy
• Fluorescence and confocal microscopy
• Morphological investigations (histological and immunohistochemical)
• Molecular investigations (PCR, Real-Time PCR, Next-Generation Sequencing)
• Genetic Counseling Test

Italian and/or foreign quality certification:
The Cardiovascular Pathology Unit is certified UNI EN ISO 9001: 2008, n.5871/aq CERTIQUALITY for the quality management of diagnostics and research.
Histopathological and molecular diagnostics of non-small cell lung tumors (adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma) has been using the European EQA Lung certification since 2018.
Genetic diagnostics makes use of European EQA Molecular Genetics Quality Network since 2018.


The Unit is a world leader in diagnostics and research on sudden death, arrhythmic heart diseases, myocarditis, valve prostheses and heart tumors. In this regard, it is home to the international Core Lab for endomyocardial/heart biopsies and Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy.
It is home to the Cardio-Cerebro-Vascular Pathology Registry of the Veneto Region (Decree No. 151/2017 of the Regional Council), to which the autopsy data of cardio-cerebro-vascular mortality and cardiovascular "surgical pathology" belong to the Pathology Services of the Veneto Region. In particular, it is home to the Sudden Juvenile Death Registry and the SIUD (unexpected death of the fetus) and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) registry of the Veneto Region (Regional Reference Structure for diagnostic findings, DL n. 2218, 20/12/2011). It is also a tissue bank and database of primary heart tumors, valve bioprostheses, native heart transplantation and congenital heart disease.
The Researchers are also supported by A.R.C.A., Association for Research on Cardiac Arrhythmias (, a no-profit association that has among its main purposes to promote scientific research by establishing scholarships for young biologists and medical doctors and to organize / support scientific events.
The Unit aims also at studying the morphological and molecular aspects of several thoracic diseases, in particular lung interstitial diseases, lung and pleural neoplasms (especially malignant mesothelioma) and thymic tumors. In this context, it is supporting the Italian Association for Lung Pathology Research - A.I.R.P.P. ( a no-profit association that promotes scientific research through educational/popular programs (e.g. in schools), establishes scholarships for deserving young people and organizes/supports scientific events.

Main national and international collaborations:
Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, NL. (Department of Experimental Cardiology and Department of Pathology)
Cardiology, University of Athens, Greece
Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Centre Universitaire Romand de Médecine Légale Chemin de la Vulliette 4, CH – 1000 Lausanne Swiss
CHRU de Strasbourg, Strasburgo, France
Hôpital Marie Lannelongue, Le Plessis Robinson, Paris, France
Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, USA
Singapore General Hospital, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, USA
Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, USA


PhD in Translational Specialistic Medicine "G.B. Morgagni", Director Prof. Annalisa Angelini
2nd level Master Course Cardiovascular Patholology, Director Prof. Cristina Basso


Aula Cagnetto (mezzanine floor) management assigned to the School of Medicine
Aula Esercitazioni microscopiche (Basement floor) management of DSCTV and DIMED
Library (mezzanine floor)
Anatomic Theatre under renovation
Pahtological Anatomy Museum (Basement floor)


Histology, Cytology, Immunohistochemistry (Lab. Manager: Mr. Luca Braghetto, tel. 049-827.2243,; (Raised ground floor and Basement floor)
Molecular Pathology (Lab. Manager: Dr. Elisa Carturan, tel. 049-827.2242, (Raised ground floor)
Ultrastructural Pathology (Lab. Manager: Dr. Mila Della Barbera, tel. 049-827.2273, (Raised ground floor)
Cardiovascular Genetics (Lab. Manager: Prof. Kalliopi Pilichou, tel. 049-827.2293, (Raised ground floor)
Imaging (Lab. Manager: Mr. Marco Pizzigolotto, tel. 049-827.2282, (Basement floor)
Autopsy Room and Anatomic Theatre (Lab. Manager: Dr. Mila Della Barbera, tel. 049-827.2273, (Basement floor)