Cardiovascular System

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Normal Processes

Embryonic development, fetal maturation, and perinatal changes

Organ structure and function

  • Chambers, valves

  • Cardiac cycle, mechanics, heart sounds, cardiac conduction

  • Hemodynamics, including systemic, pulmonary, coronary, and blood volume

  • Circulation in specific vascular beds

Cell/tissue structure and function

  • Heart muscle, metabolism, oxygen consumption, biochemistry, and secretory function (eg, atrial natriuretic peptide)

  • Endothelium and secretory function, vascular smooth muscle, microcirculation, and lymph flow

  • Mechanisms of atherosclerosis

  • Neural and hormonal regulation of the heart, blood vessels, and blood volume, including responses to change in posture, exercise, and tissue metabolism

Repair, regeneration, and changes associated with stage of life

Abnormal Processes

Traumatic and mechanical disorders (eg, tamponade, valvular disease, obstructive cardiomyopathy)

Neoplastic disorders

Metabolic and regulatory disorders (eg, dysrhythmias, systolic and diastolic dysfunction, low- and high-output heart failure, cor pulmonale, systemic hypertension, ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, systemic hypotension, and shock)

Vascular disorders (eg, aneurysms, occlusions, varicosities, atherosclerosis)

Systemic diseases affecting the cardiovascular system (eg, amyloidosis, aortic dissection with Marfan syndrome, and scleroderma)

Congenital disorders of the heart and central vessels

Infectious, inflammatory, and immunologic disorders

  • Infectious disorders (eg, endocarditis, myocarditis, pericarditis)

  • Inflammatory and immunologic disorders (eg, acute rheumatic fever, systemic lupus erythematosus, transplant rejection, vasculitis, temporal arteritis)

Principles of Therapeutics

Mechanisms of action, use, and adverse effects of drugs for treatment of disorders of the cardiovascular system

  • Coronary and peripheral vasodilators

  • Antiarrhythmic drugs

  • Antihypertensive drugs

  • Measures used to combat hypotension and shock

  • Drugs affecting cholesterol and lipid metabolism

  • Drugs affecting blood coagulation, thrombolytic agents

  • Inotropic agents and treatment of heart failure

  • Immunosuppressive and antimicrobial drugs

  • Drugs to treat peripheral arterial disease

Other therapeutic modalities (eg, pacemakers, angioplasty, valves, grafts, other surgical procedures)

Patterns Affecting Treatment

Gender, ethnic, and behavioral considerations affecting disease treatment and prevention, including psychosocial, cultural, occupational, and environmental

  • Emotional and behavioral factors (eg, smoking, alcohol, ischemic heart disease, obesity, exercise, diet)

  • Influence on person, family, and society (eg, altered lifestyle)

  • Occupational and other environmental risk factors (eg, stress)

  • Gender and ethnic factors (eg, hypertension)

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