VMLL 1060 - Physiology and Pathophysiology

  • Noncredit

This course will provide an overview of the normal physiology of major mammalian organ systems as well as physiologic perturbations associated with disease states. The course is designed to provide a mechanism-oriented understanding of normal and disease processes in humans and companion animal species. Some emphasis will be placed on cellular and molecular mechanisms that form the current basis of understanding of normal function and disease states.

The course will help clinical resident trainees and graduate students gain a broader understanding of the physiologic basis of clinical medicine and translational medical research.

Course outline:

1. Cardiopulmonary physiology

Learning objectives: The overall learning objective is to gain a working knowledge of the normal and diseased pulmonary and cardiovascular systems that can be applied to the clinical management of animals with cardiopulmonary conditions. The course will be structured based on the concept of the “oxygen pathway” starting with oxygen in ambient air and ending with oxygen delivery to the tissues. The specific concepts that will be mastered include:

1. control of ventilation, lung volumes, alveolar vs. dead space ventilation, hypoventilation
2. pulmonary compliance, airway resistance, respiratory work
3. diffusion impairment, shunt, ventilation-perfusion mismatch
4. obstructive lung disease vs. restrictive lung disease
5. pulmonary edema, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary hypertension
6. oxygen delivery, role of preload, afterload, and contractility, pressure-volume loops, cardiac work
7. cardiac hypertrophy, cardiac regeneration, cardiac loss
8. pathophysiology of heart failure
9. cardiac overload, systolic heart disease, diastolic heart disease
10. principles of cardiac electrophysiology and arrhythmogenesis
11. control of vascular resistance, arterial elastance

2. Gastrointestinal physiology

Learning objectives: Students completing the gastrointestinal physiology portion of this course should be able to describe the processes that occur in the stomach, small and large intestine and liver and pancreas during digestion and the role that each organ plays. Students should also be able to describe the major abnormalities of GI function and the compensatory mechanisms that develop, including maldigestion, malabsorption and chronic and acute liver disease and pancreatitis.

3. Neuroendocrinology

Learning objectives: Students that complete the neuroendocrine portion of VS628 should understand and be able to describe the physiology of adrenergic and cholinergic receptors and the autonomic and sympathetic nervous systems and their response to normal stimuli and their role in maintaining homeostasis. In addition, students should be able to describe the physiologic responses and roles of major endocrine organs (pituitary, adrenals, pancreas) in maintaining homeostasis. Students should also be able to describe the major diseases of endocrine organs and how these diseases perturb homeostasis.

4. Acid-base physiology
Learning objectives: Upon completing the acid-base balance portion of this course, students should understand how the body maintains acid-base balance and the roles played by blood elements, the lungs, and the kidneys in regulating acid-base balance. The major intracellular and extracellular buffering systems should be familiar to these students, as well as the pumps that regulate intracellular proton exchange. Students should also be familiar with the impact that certain common disease states (eg, renal disease, diabetes, GI disease) on acid-base balance.

5. Renal physiology

Learning objectives: Upon completing the renal physiology portion of this course, students should be able to summarize the main functions of the kidney and describe the roles of the components of the nephron in regulating electrolytes, volume, water balance, and acid/base balance. Students should be able to predict the renal response to a variety of systemic changes, and should be able to describe the changes that occur in renal failure

For course information, please contact Lori Kogan Lori.Kogan@ColoState.EDU

Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.

Important Information



Dr. Dawn Duval


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