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Study-Unit Description
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CODE PHB1101

 
TITLE Body Fluids, Cells, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology

 
LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 4

 
DEPARTMENT Physiology and Biochemistry

 
DESCRIPTION Body Fluids and Cells

1. General Instructional Objectives
    • An understanding of the basics of body fluids and electrolyte physiology and their application in health and disease

2. Required Abilities
    a. To explain the distribution of body fluids and their measurement
    b. To describe the function, distribution and physiological importance of sodium, potassium, and chloride ions
    c. To describe the cell membrane and its properties
    d. To explain mechanisms of transport of substances across cell membranes including diffusion, facilitated diffusion, primary active transport and secondary active transport
    e. To describe the regulation of intracellular fluid and the role of the sodium-potassium pump
    f. To define osmotic pressure and to explain the factors that determine i.

Nerves

1. General Instructional Objectives
    • An understanding of basic neurophysiology

2. Required Abilities
    a. Resting membrane potential
    b. Action potentials
    c. Synaptic function

Muscle

1. General Instructional Objectives
    • An understanding of the physiology of striated and non-striated muscle and how structure and function are related

2. Required Abilities
    a. To explain the concept of motor units
    b. To describe the mechanism of excitation-contraction coupling
    c. To define single twitch, tetanus and Treppe effect, and explain their physiological basis
    d. To describe the relationship between muscle length and tension

Cardiovascular Physiology

I - Structure and Function of the Heart

1. General Instructional Objectives
    • An understanding of the functional anatomy of the heart and its relationship to cardiac function

2. Required Abilities
    a. To describe the structure and functional significance of the conductive, excitatory and contractile elements of the heart

II - Electrical Properties of the Heart

1. General Instructional Objectives
    • An understanding of the basis of electrical activity of cardiac muscle and its relationship to basic mechanical events

2. Required Abilities
    a. To explain the ionic basis of spontaneous electrical activity of cardiac muscle cells (automaticity)
    b. To describe the normal and abnormal processes of cardiac excitation
    c. To explain the physiological basis of the electrocardiograph in normal and common pathological states
    d. To describe the factors that may influence cardiac electrical activity
    e. To describe and explain the mechanical events of the cardiac cycle and correlate this with electrical and ionic events

III - Determinants and Control of Cardiac Output

1. General Instructional Objectives
    • An understanding of the factors that determine cardiac output and its control and the application of this knowledge to clinical practice

2. Required Abilities
    a. To explain the Frank-Starling mechanism and its relationship to excitation-contraction coupling
    b. To define preload, afterload and myocardial contractility
    c. To describe the factors that determine preload, afterload and myocardial contractility
    d. To describe total peripheral vascular resistance and factors that affect it
    e. To describe the pressure-volume relationships of the ventricles and their clinical applications
    f. To integrate the factors that determine cardiac output

IV - Control of Circulation

1. General Instructional Objectives
    • An understanding of cardiovascular responses to physiological and common pathological changes

2. Required Abilities
    a. To describe the role of the vasomotor centre and the autonomic nervous system in the regulation of cardiac output and venous return
    b. To describe the function of baroreceptors and to relate this knowledge to common clinical situations
    c. To explain the role of the autonomic nervous system in controlling systemic vascular resistance and redistribution of blood volume
    d. To explain the neural and humoral regulation of blood volume and flow

Respiratory Physiology

I - Anatomy of the Respiratory System

1. General Instructional Objectives
    • An understanding of the anatomy of the respiratory system and its relation to function

2. Required Abilities
    a. To relate function of the upper airway to its structure
    b. To explain the structure of the chest wall and diaphragm and to relate these to respiratory mechanics

III - Mechanics of Breathing

1. General Instructional Objectives
    • An understanding of the elastic properties (static mechanics) and the flow resistive properties of the airways (dynamic mechanics) as well as the forces acting on the ventilatory system

2. Required Abilities
    a. To describe the inspiratory and expiratory process involving the chest wall, diaphragm, pleura and lung parenchyma
    b. To define compliance (static, dynamic and specific) and relate this to the elastic properties of the lung
    c. To describe the properties of surfactant and relate these to its role in influencing respiratory mechanics
    d. To explain the physics of gas flow and the significance of the relationship between resistance and flow in the respiratory tract
    e. To describe the factors affecting airway resistance
    f. To describe the work of breathing and its components

II - Control of Ventilation

1. General Instructional Objectives
    • An understanding of the control of ventilation

2. Required Abilities
    a. To describe the medullary and pontine respiratory control centres and explain how the ventilatory pattern is generated and controlled
    b. To describe the chemical control of breathing via central and peripheral chemoreceptors, and indicate how this is altered in abnormal clinical states
    c. To describe the reflex control of ventilation
    d. To describe the ventilatory response to exercise

III - Pulmonary Gas Volumes and Ventilation

1. General Instructional Objectives
    • An understanding of lung volumes and capacities and the application of this knowledge to normal and diseased respiratory states

2. Required Abilities
    a. To explain the measurement of lung volumes and capacities, and to indicate the normal values
    b. To define dead space
    c. To explain normal ventilation-perfusion matching, including the mechanisms for these as well as the normal values

IV - Diffusive Transfer of Respiratory Gases

1. General Instructional Objectives
    • An understanding of the laws of diffusion and their application to capillary exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lung

2. Required Abilities
    a. To explain the capillary exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, and the relationship of erythrocyte transit to oxygen and carbon dioxide transfer
    b. To define diffusion capacity and its measurement
    c. To describe the physiological factors that alter diffusion capacity

V - Gas Transport in the Blood

1. General Instructional Objectives
    • An understanding of the principles involved in transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide in blood and their applications in clinical practice

2. Required Abilities
    a. To describe the carriage of oxygen in blood
    b. To explain the oxyhaemoglobin dissociation curve and factors that may alter it such as carbon monoxide, temperature, carbon dioxide and hydrogen ion concentration and 2,3 diphosphoglycerate
    c. To describe the carbon dioxide carriage in blood including the Haldane effect, and the chloride shift

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 100%

 
LECTURER/S CYNTHIA GRECH
Christian Scerri (Co-ord.)

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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