84311 - Physiology of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

Understand the importance of the integration of physiological processes from the molecular level to complex systems. Describe the functional properties of cardiac muscle and vascular smooth muscle, and their hormonal and nervous control. Outline the functional organization and integrated control of the cardiovascular system, and discuss the mechanisms that regulate blood pressure and cardiac output. Describe the principles of pulmonary mechanics and gas exchange, gas transport in blood, and the regulation of respiration. Recognize physiological adaptations of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to physical activity and stress.

Course contents

  • Overview of the Circulation
  • Hemodynamics
  • Cardiac Muscle
  • The Heart
  • Stroke Volume
  • Cardiac Output
  • Cardiac metabolism
  • Smooth Muscle
  • Circulation
  • Integrated control of the cardiovascular system
  • Dynamic respiratory mechanics
  • Static respiratory mechanics.
  • Pulmonary gas exchange
  • Transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood
  • Control of breathing


1) Berne & Levy, Physiology , 7th Edition. Authors: Koeppen & Stanton

2) Medical Physiology, 3rd Editios. Authors: Boron & Boulpaep

3) Medical Physiology, 13th Edition. Author: John E. Hall

4) Cardiovascular Physiology, 10th Edition, Authors: Pappano & Wier

5) Medical Physiology, 3rd Edition. Authors: Michelle M. Cloutier

Teaching methods

Attendance to learning activities is mandatory; the minimum attendance requirement to be admitted to the final exam is 66% of lessons. For Integrated Courses (IC), the 66% attendance requirement refers to the total amount of I.C. lessons. Students who fail to meet the minimum attendance requirement will not be admitted to the final exam of the course, and will have to attend relevant classes again during the next academic year.

Professors may authorise excused absences upon receipt of proper justifying documentation, in case of illness or serious reasons. Excused absences do not count against a student’s attendance record to determine their minimum attendance requirement.

Assessment methods

Multiple choice questions

Office hours

See the website of Domenico Tupone