The Revision Guide for Student Nurses (Part I)

The Cardiovascular System


  1. What is another name for the circulatory system?
  2. Name 2 other systems that are a part of the circulatory system?
  3. What is meant by the pulmonary circulation?
  4. What is meant by the systemic circulation?
  5. What is the collective name of the large vessels that carry blood away from the heart?
  6. What is the collective name of the very small, thin-walled blood vessels that lie within the tissues and allow oxygen exchange?
  7. What is the correct name for capillary bleeding?
  8. What is the difference between an artery and an arteriole?
  9. What is the difference between a vein and a venule?
  10. What structures are present in veins but not in arteries?
  11. List the 3 arteries that possess "end arteries" rather than a capillary bed.
  12. Give 1 advantage and 1 disadvantage of end arteries over a capillary bed.
  13. List 8 functions of the blood.
  14. What is the pH of blood?
  15. What percentage of the body weight is comprised of blood?
  16. State 2 ways in which arterial blood differs from venous blood.
  17. What is the name of the straw coloured fluid in which the blood cells (corpuscles) are suspended?
  18. List the 6 components of plasma.
  19. List the 3 main types of blood cell.
  20. What is the main function of the erythrocytes?
  21. List 3 immature forms of red blood cell.
  22. List 4 properties of adult red blood cells.
  23. What is the name of the substance secreted by the kidney in response to low oxygen levels within the kidneys?
  24. In adult animals, erythrocytes are only produced by the bone marrow. In the foetus however, they are also produced elsewhere. State the locations.
  25. Where in the body are spent erythrocytes broken down?
  26. What is another name for the granulocytes?
  27. What are the 2 main groups of white cells?
  28. What is the name of the tissue from which all the granulocytes and monocytes are produced?
  29. Briefly state the function of the following cell types: neutrophils, basophils and eosinophils.
  30. Briefly describe the function of the following cell types: lymphocytes and monocytes.
  31. What is another name for the platelets?
  32. What is the name of the type of cell from which platelets are derived?
  33. Briefly describe the 4 main stages involved in the formation of a blood clot.
  34. What is the difference between serum and plasma?
  35. Which of the fat-soluble vitamins is required for the manufacture of prothrombin?
  36. What is an anticoagulant?
  37. How many chambers does the heart possess?
  38. Define the following: pericardium and myocardium.
  39. The valves of the heart prevent the back-flow of blood and consist of fibrous flaps called cusps. Can you name the valves of the heart and state the amount of cusps possessed by each?
  40. Name the structures responsible for the restriction of the movement of the atrio-ventricular valves.
  41. List the 5 structures that contribute to the conduction mechanism of the heart (this allows rhythmic contraction without a constant nerve supply).
  42. Define systole and diastole.
  43. What is meant by the pulse?
  44. What is the name given to the strong, jerky pulse often associated with valvular insufficiency or congenital heart defects such as ductus arteriosus?
  45. What is mediate auscultation?
  46. Clinical examination of a patient with a suspected heart problem often begins with mediate auscultation. What other instruments or equipment might be useful in aiding the diagnosis?
  47. When listening to the heart, you will hear a "lub-dup" sound. What is responsible for this?
  48. State the normal heart rate for the cat and dog.
  49. What is the term used to describe a higher than normal heart rate?
  50. What is the term used to describe a lower than normal heart rate?
  51. What is an arrhythmia?
  52. What is sinus arrhythmia?