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Anatomy and Physiology

Critical Thinking Questions

Anatomy and PhysiologyCritical Thinking Questions


Arterioles are often referred to as resistance vessels. Why?


Cocaine use causes vasoconstriction. Is this likely to increase or decrease blood pressure, and why?


A blood vessel with a few smooth muscle fibers and connective tissue, and only a very thin tunica externa conducts blood toward the heart. What type of vessel is this?


You measure a patient’s blood pressure at 130/85. Calculate the patient’s pulse pressure and mean arterial pressure. Determine whether each pressure is low, normal, or high.


An obese patient comes to the clinic complaining of swollen feet and ankles, fatigue, shortness of breath, and often feeling “spaced out.” She is a cashier in a grocery store, a job that requires her to stand all day. Outside of work, she engages in no physical activity. She confesses that, because of her weight, she finds even walking uncomfortable. Explain how the skeletal muscle pump might play a role in this patient’s signs and symptoms.


A patient arrives at the emergency department with dangerously low blood pressure. The patient’s blood colloid osmotic pressure is normal. How would you expect this situation to affect the patient’s net filtration pressure?


True or false? The plasma proteins suspended in blood cross the capillary cell membrane and enter the tissue fluid via facilitated diffusion. Explain your thinking.


A patient arrives in the emergency department with a blood pressure of 70/45 confused and complaining of thirst. Why?


Nitric oxide is broken down very quickly after its release. Why?


Identify the ventricle of the heart that pumps oxygen-depleted blood and the arteries of the body that carry oxygen-depleted blood.


What organs do the gonadal veins drain?


What arteries play the leading roles in supplying blood to the brain?


All tissues, including malignant tumors, need a blood supply. Explain why drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors would be used in cancer treatment.


Explain the location and importance of the ductus arteriosus in fetal circulation.

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