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Cardiovascular Pathophysiology (ICM6023)

Dept. responsible: Pathology Unit, Blizard Institute

Course organiser:

Prof Steve E. Greenwald, s.e.greenwald@qmul.ac.uk

Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of morbidity and mortality in the developed world and is fast becoming a comparable problem in the developing countries. The module describes some of the mechanical factors that underlie the pathogenesis and progression of vascular disease. This requires a brief outline of fluid dynamical and elasticity theory sufficient to understand the properties of extensible and non-linearly elastic materials such as arteries, and the behaviour of blood flowing in them. This approach is not commonly followed in the preclinical medical course, but it provides an essential adjunct to the biochemical and metabolic description of cardiovascular disease that students will encounter in their clinical studies.

Topics include: Basic theory of elasticity, non-linear and viscoelastic description of arteries. Introduction to haemodynamics, pulsatile flow in distensible tubes, wave reflection. Arterial structure and composition. Models of vascular elasticity and the relationship between arterial structure and function. The effect of age and vascular disease on this relationship. Response of the arterial system to chronic changes in pressure and flow. Endogenous control of vascular tone and the control of blood pressure. The role of the vascular endothelial cell and its response to changes in blood flow. Mechanical factors in hypertension. Non-invasive measurement of vascular elasticity and endothelial function. Novel treatments for vascular disease.

This is a taught module delivered by lectures. This module covers normal development of the cardiovascular system in terms of the changing demands due to growth and ageing. This approach is extended to elucidate the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in terms of the response of cells in the vascular wall to changes in mechanical load such as increased blood pressure or reduced flow. This module integrates the model of vascular pathology with epidemiological factors such as fetal malnutrition, which affect vessel development in early life and which are linked to an increased incidence of vascular disease in middle age. Also covered is the diagnosis and treatment of these problems, allowing students to gain an understanding of non-invasive measurement techniques to monitor the development of abnormal blood vessel properties.

To understand the normal development of the cardiovascular system in terms of the changing demands on the system during growth and ageing. This approach is extended to elucidate the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in terms of the response of cells in the vascular wall to changes in mechanical load such as increased blood pressure or reduced flow. To integrate this model of vascular pathology with epidemiological factors such as foetal malnutrition, which affect vessel development in early life and which are linked to an increased incidence of vascular disease in middle age. Finally, as a means of diagnosing and treating these problems, to gain an understanding of non-invasive measurement techniques to monitor the development of abnormal blood vessel properties.

Examination 80%

Coursework 20%

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