PREFACE
Cardiovascular physiology textbooks have
traditionally emphasized biophysical princi-
ples such as the behavior of flowing blood,
mechanics of muscle contraction, and feed-
back control systems. In the past two dec-
ades, we have gained considerable knowledge
about endothelial function, membrane recep-
tors, ion channels, and signal transduction
mechanisms that regulate cardiac and vas-
cular function. This new insight into cellu-
lar mechanisms has revolutionized not only
our understanding of cardiovascular function
but also how physicians diagnose and treat
patients with cardiovascular disease.
Cardio-
vascular Physiology Concepts
was written to
provide medical, graduate, and allied health
science students with a firm foundation in
traditional biophysical principles and newer
cellular physiology principles.
This textbook incorporates several features
to aid the reader in learning: (1) each chap-
ter begins with a list of learning objectives to
direct the reader to key concepts, (2) the text is
supplemented with problems and clinical cases
used to reinforce fundamental physiological
concepts, (3) important concepts are summa-
rized at the end of each chapter, (4) relevant
reading resources are listed in the chapters, and
(5) review questions with explanations are pro-
vided as a self-assessment tool for the reader.
Many topics presented in this textbook
are placed in a medical context by describing
how underlying physiologic concepts relate to
disease states, such as arrhythmia, abnormal
blood pressure, and heart failure, and to clini-
cal diagnosis and therapeutic intervention.
Several of the chapters contain clinical cases
to illustrate clinical applications of important
physiologic concepts.
The first eight chapters discuss cardio-
vascular physiology following a traditional
organization of topics. The last chapter inte-
grates the material in the preceding chapters
by describing how the cardiovascular system
responds and adapts to increased demands by
the body (e.g., exercise and pregnancy) or to
pathophysiologic conditions (e.g., hypoten-
sion, hypertension, heart failure, and cardiac
valve disease).
Although the basic format of the second
edition is similar to the first edition, many
chapter
sections
have
been
rewritten
to
enhance clarity and to update our knowledge
on specific topics. More than half the figures
have been revised or are new in the second
edition. Much of the material that was for-
merly found in an accompanying CD-ROM
has now been revised and incorporated into
the printed second edition.
Cardiovascular physiology, like all areas
of biomedical science, can be overwhelming
in the amount of knowledge presented to the
reader. For this reason, I have endeavored to
present fundamental concepts at a level suit-
able for medical students in their preclini-
cal years of training. These concepts will be
more than sufficient to provide a necessary
framework for understanding cardiovascu-
lar pharmacology and therapeutics, and car-
diovascular pathophysiology. It is my hope
that the reader will not only learn how the
cardiovascular
system
functions
but
will
also become awed at the magnificence of the
human body.
Richard E. Klabunde, PhD
Athens, Ohio
v
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