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The University of Southampton

HPRS3020 Advanced Cardiac Physiology

Module Overview

The overall aim of this module is to ensure that the student begins to gain wider knowledge of investigations undertaken in a Cardiology Department particularly provocative testing including electrocardiography, pacing, imaging and invasive procedures in adults and children. This module will also build on earlier work to develop the themes of public health and epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, risk factors, risk assessment, primary prevention including behavioural change management.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Evaluate the physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology related to invasive testing in electrocardiography, pacing, echocardiography and cardiac catheterisation procedures.
  • Appraise the practice and principles of invasive cardiology.
  • Explain the underpinning principles and practice of invasive pressure measurement and cardiac interventions.
  • Examine the principles and application of management of bradycardia.
  • Demonstrate an understanding and experience of the value of clinical audit in optimising cardiac services.
  • Evaluate the differences between children and adults with respect to cardiac physiology investigations.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of patient-centred care.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the range of needs of people with disabilities within this care pathway.
  • Engage with research activity by evaluating research outcomes in cardiac physiology and judiciously applying them to professional practice.
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Respect and uphold the rights, dignity and privacy of patients.
  • Critically discuss the problems associated with the care of patients undergoing cardiac investigations or treatments.
  • Establish patient-centred rapport.
  • Appreciate the empathy and sensitivity needed when dealing with the patient experience of long term conditions and terminal illness.
  • Actively seek accurate and validated information from all available sources with respect to cardiac investigations.
  • Select and apply appropriate analysis or assessment techniques and tools.


Indicative Content In this module students will build on Year 1 learning and begin detailed learning that underpins the routine practical techniques. Patient Centred Care • Communication Skills • Consent • Confidentiality • Disability including learning disabilities • Care Pathways for patients with cardiovascular disease Physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology related to electrocardiography, echocardiography, pacing and cardiac catheterisation • Circulatory control • Cardiac cycle and potentials • Cardiac output control • Heart failure and its effect on the heart and circulation • Cardiac drugs: affects, functions and application during cardiac procedures • Changes associated with heart disease to invasive measurement and interventions • Acquired heart disease and its effect on the heart and circulation • Basic overview of congenital heart disease o Embryology o Circulatory changes at birth o Common abnormalities which may include  Atrial Septal Defects  Ventricular Septal Defects  Patent DuctusArteriosus  Coarctation of the Aorta  Tetralogy of Fallot Principles and practice of invasive pressure measurement and cardiac interventions • Principles and practice of invasive pressure measurement • Equipment and set up • Diagnostic and therapeutic cath lab procedures • Operation of equipment and safe use • Catheter use and design (diagnostic and guide catheters) • Identification and measurement of intracardiac pressures (normal and abnormal) Principles and application of management of bradycardia • Indications and contraindications for bradycardia device implantation • Implantation techniques and asepsis • Bradycardia pacing modes • Rhythm management • Simple ECG troubleshooting • Introduction to echocardiography Physics of ultrasound Standard views and images This module will also build on earlier work to develop the themes of public health and epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, risk factors, risk assessment, primary prevention including behavioural change management.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Students will learn by exploring material in seminars and laboratory practical’s in conjunction with directed learning. Students will be encouraged to take responsibility for the development of their own learning by utilising a variety of means such as multimedia resources, and the library, and by self-directed development of the study skills necessary to access these resources.

Practical classes and workshops50
Wider reading or practice130
Completion of assessment task40
Preparation for scheduled sessions30
Total study time385

Resources & Reading list

Barold, S. (2010). Cardiac Pacemakers and Resynchronisation. Step by step. 

Fogoros, R. (2006). Electrophysiologic Testing. 

Wagner, G. (2007). Marriott’s Practical Electrocardiography. 

Morton, K (2011). The Cardiac Catheterization Handbook. 

Huszar, R (2007). Basic Dysrhythmias: Interpretation & management. 

Klabunde, R (2005). Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts. 

Marieb, E. (2004). Human Anatomy & Physiology. 

Bono, R. (2011). Brauwald’s Heart Disease. 

Bennett, P. (1993). Counselling for Heart Disease. 

Chambers, J. & Rimmington, H. (2007). Echocardiography. A practical Guide to Reporting. 

Anderson, B. (2007). Echocardiography: The normal examination and echocardiographic measurements. 

Aaronson, P., Ward J & Connolly, M. (2012). The Cardiovascular System at a Glance. 

Verghese, A. (2003). Stress Testing: Principles and Practice. 

Feigenbaum, H. (2004). Feigenbaum’s Echocardiography. 

Brown, H. (1997). Physiology and Pharmacology of the Heart. 

Ellestad, M. (2003). Stress testing: principles and practice. 

Wasserman, K., Hansen, J. & Darryl, S. (2005). Principles of exercise testing and interpretation: including pathophysiology and clinical application. 

Johnson, W. (2008). Pediatric Cardiology : The essential pocket guide. 

Kumar, P. & Clark, M. (2009). Clinical Medicine. 

Otto, C. (2009). Textbook of Clinical Echocardiography. 

Gunning, M. (2007). Essential Cardiac Catheterization. 

Sunthareswaran, R. (2004). Cardiovascular System. 

Hung-Chi, L. (2006). ECG in the Child and Adolescent. 

Morris, F. (2008). The ABC of Clinical Electrocardiography. 

Connelly, D. (2006). Implantable Cardiac Pacemakers and Defibrillators: all you wanted to know. 

Bennett, D. (2006). Cardiac Arrhythmias: Practical Notes on Interpretation and Treatment. 

Phillips, J. & Feeney, M. (1980). The Cardiac Rhythms. 

Ellenbogen, K. (2008). Cardiac Pacing and ICDs. 

Froelicher, V. (2006). Exercise and the Heart. 

Tortora, G. (2009). Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. 

Opie,l. (2004). Heart Physiology: From Cell to Circulation. 

Conover, M. (2002). Understanding Electrocardiography. 

Guyton, A. & Hall, J. (2009). Textbook of Medical Physiology. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Written essay  (2000 words) 50%
Written exam  (2 hours) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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