cod. 1002330

Academic year 2013/14
3° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Fisiologia (BIO/09)
Formazione clinica interdisciplinare e medicina basata sulle evidenze
Type of training activity
7 hours
of face-to-face activities
1 credits
hub: -
course unit
in - - -

Integrated course unit module: PHYSIOLOGY

Learning objectives

The knowledge of the functional mechanisms of the human body organs, the knowledge of their dynamic integration in apparatuses and the general mechanisms of functional control in normal conditions and in particular pathological conditions.


Students must possess basic and fundamental notions of Anatomy, cell and tissue biology and biochemistry of the organs and systems which are the topic of this part of the course.

Course unit content

The course addresses the second part of the physiology of the human body, by focusiong on the physiology of the heart and circulatory system, of the respiratory system, of the kidney and of the urinary tract.

Full programme

Cardiovascular apparatus (Prof. Gallese). Physical principles of hemodynamics. Physical properties of blood. Miocardial properties: rhythm, conduction, excitability, contraction. Heart electrophysiology. Ionic theories of resting and action potentials. Electrocardiogram. Heart mechanics and the cardiac cycle. Cardiac output. Intrinsic and extrinsic regulation of heart activity. The vascular system. Passive mechanical properties. Vascular smooth muscles. Nervous and endocrine regulation of blood vessels. Blood pressure; systolic, diastolic, mean and pulsatory. Measuring blood pressure. Venous pressure and blood circulation. Arterial and venous pulse. Coronaric circulation and and heart metabolism. Local circulation: muscle, skin, kidney, splancnic. Brain circulation: chemical, metabolic and nervous regulation.

Respiratory Apparatus (Prof. Gallese). Physical laws of gases. Chest and respiration muscles. Alveolar and pulmunary ventilation. Lung volumes and capacities. Anatomic and functional dead space. Mechanics of breathing. Intra-pulmunary and intra-pleural pressures. Compliance. Pressure-volume curves. Airway resistance. Work of breathing. Inspirated air, alveolar air, and expirated air. Blood-tissue gas exchange in the lung: relationships between ventilation and alveolar pressures of gases. Distribution of ventilation. Gas exchange between alveoli and capillaries. Blood transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Pulmunary circulation. Ventilation-perfusion relationships. Respiratory centers: Genesis of the rhythm of respiration. Ventilation responses to variation in alveolar pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Chemical and central regulation of respiration. Hypoxia. Respiratory mechanisms controlling the acid-base status.

Body Fluids and Renal Function (Prof. Tirindelli). Physiology of the body fluids. Filtration and blood flow. Proximal tubule function. The loop of Henle and the distal nephron. Regulation of osmolarity and volume of the body fluids. Acid-base balance and regulation of H+ excretion. Potassium balance and regulation of potassium excretion. Regulation of calcium, magnesium and phosphate excretion.


Fiorenzo Conti (a cura di)-Fisiologia Medica. Edi-Ermes Editore

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures with audio-visual material.

Assessment methods and criteria

Learning is verified by means of an oral examination.

Other information

This information refers to the second part of the Course of Physiology, focusing on the physiology of the heart and circulatory system, the physiology of the respiratory system, and the physiology of the kidney and of the urinary tract.