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To understand the cardiac, vascular, and pulmonary systems during body movement, the principles of moving blood, nutrients, ions, oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2), metabolic byproducts, and waste, producing electrical gradients, and generating pressure differences are fundamental.* In terms of physiology, the action at the cellular level of these organ systems allows for the functioning of the systems in everyday life, activity, and exercise. In addition, the introduction of pharmacological agents can influence these systems when needed during pathology and/or disease.

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High-Yield Terms to Learn
Action potential The basis for nerve impulses as the cell membrane reaches its threshold potential.
Angina pectoris Chest pain related to ischemia of the myocardium.
Apnea Cessation of breathing after an expiration, interrupted by eventual inspiration or becomes fatal.
Atherosclerosis A disease of the arteries characterized by plaque deposits of fatty materials on the vessel’s inner walls.
Automatic rhythmicity The property of cardiac nodal tissue to self-excite, which leads to automatic action potentials and heart contraction.
Bradypnea A rate of breathing that has fewer breaths per minute than is usual for an individual’s age and activity level.
Chronotrophy Changes or influences that increase or decrease heart rate.
Cor pulmonale Right-side heart failure resulting from pulmonary hypertension causing acute and chronic pulmonary disease.

Adventitious breath sounds heard over areas of the lung with accumulated fluids or collapsed alveoli.

There is a partial reopening of the alveoli during inspiration.

Cyanosis Bluish coloration of the skin, tissues, or membranes.
Dead space Air that does not reach the alveoli or airways within the lungs.
Dyspnea Shortness of breath.
Effective refractory period The timeframe when tissue cannot generate additional incoming action potentials.
Eupnea Normal rate, depth, and rhythm of breathing.
Frank−Starling law The observation that increased stretching and preloading of the heart causes an increase in heart contractility.
Hemoptysis Presence of blood produced from coughing.
Hyperpnea Increased breathing due to increased depth, but usually not increased rate.
Ionotrophy Changes or influences that increase or decrease heart contractility.
Orthopnea Shortness of breath caused by lying in a flat position.
Oxygen diffusing capacity A measure of the rate at which oxygen can diffuse from the pulmonary alveoli into the blood.
Pulmonary ventilation The process of drawing air into and out of the lungs.
Perfusion The amount of blood flow to a given region.
Respiration The process of gas exchange with the atmosphere and cells of the body.
Shunt When blood does not flow to a region.
Sinus rhythm Any rhythm of the heart established by impulses from the SA node.
Stridor A high-pitched sound caused by obstruction of the larynx or trachea heard during inspiration and expiration.
Tachypnea An increased breathing rate, usually shallow with regular rhythm (as in restrictive lung pathologies).
Wheezing A music-pitch-like continuous sound due to a narrowing in the airway.

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