BION 326 Cardiovascular Physiology Discussion

BION 326 Cardiovascular Physiology Discussion

BION 326 Cardiovascular Physiology Discussion

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Discussion Guidelines

Initial Post

People with chronic high blood pressure often have stiff and noncompliant arteries due to atherosclerosis. In your initial post explain how this will effect the following:

Blood flow through the arteries

Left ventricular afterload


Response Post(s)

Reply to at least two of your classmates’ initial posts by Sunday.


Post your initial and follow up responses and review full grading criteria on the Discussion 9.1: Cardiovascular Physiology page.

Week 9: Cardiovascular Physiology

Welcome to Week 9. This week, we turn our attention to the cardiovascular system, with coverage of normal cardiovascular physiology this week and pathophysiology associated with the system next week.

The extensive presentation of the cardiovascular material does not directly follow that in the textbook, although much of the material is covered in the textbook (Chapters 25–28). Rather, it follows a logical flow of content from heart morphology and structural information to blood flow throughout the body. The electrical activity of the heart is also presented. You should pay attention to the pathway of movement of the electrical signal, as well as the time course of movement of the signal.

In terms of heart performance, we will cover various aspects of cardiac mechanics, including examining the determinants of cardiac output. Since venous return is one determinant of cardiac performance, we will examine cardiac function curves and venous return curves. You should be aware of the blood pressures to the outflow areas and how the heart has to step up pressures above the outflow areas during the isovolumic contraction phase. Agents that affect heart performance are discussed, and you should be aware of the results of neuronal stimulation or other agents on heart function.

The coronary circulation is presented, primarily as a result of clinical problems resulting from alterations to coronary blood flow. Since EKGs or ECGs can be used to assess heart disorders, three lead EKGs are presented. In terms of the circulation, everything is about blood pressure differentials and factors, like blood vessel diameter or blood viscosity, that can alter blood flow. Arteries, capillaries, and vein morphology is briefly discussed, as are the blood flow patterns that exist in each area. Finally, the principles of control of blood flow are described.

Lesson 1: Structure and Function of the Cardiovascular System

We will cover all aspects of the cardiovascular system this week. The learning outcomes for this material directly reflect the organization scheme used in the presentations. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States; therefore, to fully understand the potential ramifications of diseases, you must grasp the normal cardiovascular physiology.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

Cardiovascular Blood Flow, Output, and Blood Pressures

Describe the overall blood flow through the cardiovascular system

Understand a cardiac cycle (and a pressure-volume curve) and pulse pressures, and pressure differentials that affect blood flow in the cardiovascular system

Use a specific formula for determining cardiac output and ejection fraction

Describe a ventricular function curve, and relate the importance of venous return to the heart

Compare and contrast the pressures in the pulmonary and systemic circuits

Delineate the roles of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems in affecting heart performance and compare these effects to those seen with ions and temperature

Coronary Circulation

Describe the coronary circulation, and the role of the coronary circulation to meet myocardial demand for oxygen

Heart Electrical Activity

Understand movement of the electrical signal through the heart, including the cells responsible for transmission of the electrical impulse and speed of conduction

Describe the basic electrical events in a EKG

Blood Flow Profiles

List the Poiseuille equation, and understand the role of resistance elements to affect blood flow

Understand transmission of the pressure pulse and how the pressure pulse pulsatility is eliminated as blood moves to the capillary beds

Arteries, Capillaries, and Veins

List the roles of arteries, capillaries, and veins, and compare and contrast their morphology

Regulation of Blood Flow

Compare and contrast local, nervous system, and humoral regulation of blood flow

Understand the role of the renal system in regulating or controlling blood flow

Before attempting to complete your learning activities for this week, review the following learning materials:


Learning Materials

Read the following in your Porth’s Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States textbook:

Chapter 25, “Structure and Function of the Cardiovascular System”

Note that the presentation materials do not follow directly from the chapter content.

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