SHUA11017U Cardiac Physiology, Human Biology

Volume 2013/2014
MSc Programme in Human Biology
Basic concepts of cardiac physiology: The genesis and propagation of the cardiac action potential; the molecular components underlying the different cardiac ionic currents; regulation of these components in health and disease; excitation-contraction coupling and cardiac output; ECG; human cardiac diseases, including arrhythmias and heart failure; pharmacotherapy; animal models; drug discovery and cardiovascular safety. The practical exercises will provide the student with hands on experience concerning cardiac experimentation in respect to fully functional explanted hearts and multicellular cardiac tissue strips.
Learning Outcome
To offer students a thorough understanding of cardiac physiology and pathophysiology. Students will gain a detailed perception of pacemaking and of action potential propagation and termination in the different parts of the heart. The delicate ionic balance responsible for adjusting the action potential morphology, as well as several of the parameters influencing this balance, including parasympathetic and sympathetic stimulation, will become clear. Following this course, students will understand the link between calcium handling, excitation-contraction coupling, and pumping efficiency. The causal connection between molecular regulation, protein function, and physiological performance will be evident. Finally, an outline of the patho-physiological and -molecular mechanisms underlying several different cardiac diseases will be known after completion of this course.

A completed Bachelor degree within the Biomedical and Natural Sciences
Lectures, seminars and practical exercises. The seminars include student presentations of original articles.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 4
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • Lectures
  • 18
  • Practical exercises
  • 4
  • Preparation
  • 102,5
  • Seminar
  • 9
  • Total
  • 138,0
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 15 minutes
Oral examination based on the textbook, review and original articles, and lecture and exercise notes. No preparation time.
Exam registration requirements
Course attestation from the course in Cardiac Physiology by participation in article discussions and exercises, including approved presentation of an article.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More than one internal examiner
Exam period
Week 1, 2014
Criteria for exam assesment

To achieve the maximum grade of 12 the student shall be able to satisfactory explain the below-mentioned biology in an integrated cardiac physiological manner:

  • Ion transport across biological membranes
  • Depolarization of the myocardium –Sodium channels
  • Repolarization of the myocardium –Potassium channels
  • The Sino-Atrial node: Impulse generation
  • Impulse propagation and conduction
  • The ECG EC-coupling and calcium handling
  • Regulation of cardiac output and pump function
  • Congenital arrhythmias: Long QT and Brugada syndromes
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Arrhythmia mechanisms
  • Supraventricular arrhythmias
  • Pharmacology
  • In vitro models of cardiac disease
  • In vivo models of cardiac disease
  • Drug development and safety
  • Device therapy