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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.

Special Features

This module will be supported by the very strong science base within the University of Southampton. We have very successful programmes in life sciences, medicine, engineering and science (including the Institute of Sound & Vibration Research) all of which are well resourced in both staff and equipment. It is our intention to maximise opportunities for our students to work within this robust academic environment by sharing learning opportunities and being exposed to experts in the field. Students will have access to state of the art laboratories both on Highfield campus and at University Hospital Southampton which are fully equipped with learning resources, including ECG machines, ambulatory monitors, cardiac stress testing, ultrasound machine, pressure transducer and pacemakers programmers. The human morphology laboratory, for instance, will provide a strong learning environment for our students as they are introduced to anatomy and physiology. In order to support this programme the Faculty has invested in four new ‘Lab-Tutor’ simulated learning software packages with the associated hardware. These will supplement the existing simulated learning equipment (SimMan) which have been used very successfully on our existing programmes

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.

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

Resources & Reading list

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunthareswaran, R. (2004). Cardiovascular System. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fogoros, R. (2006). Electrophysiologic Testing. 

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

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

Klabunde, R (2005). Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts. 

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

Conover, M. (2002). Understanding Electrocardiography. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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