Jun 18, 2024  
College Catalog 2023-2024 
College Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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RSPT 1050 - Clinical Cardiorespiratory Physiologic Anatomy

Credit Hours: 4.00

Prerequisites: Admission into the Respiratory Therapy Program; BIOL 2710 , and BIOL 2730  or BIOL 2400  all with grade C or better

Corequisites: RSPT 1060  and RSPT 1085  

RSPT 1050 teaches respiratory and cardiac anatomy and physiology with a focus on clinical application. Topics include anatomy and physiology, ventilation, pulmonary function measurements, gas diffusion, oxygen and carbon dioxide equilibration and transport, acid‑base regulation and ventilation/perfusion relationships.

Billable Contact Hours: 4

When Offered: Fall semester only

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Outcome 1: Upon completion of this course, students will describe the anatomy of the cardiopulmonary system.


  1. Given a model of the upper or lower airway, identify the key structures.
  2. Define the directional terms and abdominal quadrants and regions and use these terms to describe anatomical locations.
  3. Describe the major structures and functions of the upper and lower airways.
  4. Name the lobes and segments of the lungs.
  5. Identify the anatomic landmarks of the thorax.
  6. List the primary and accessory muscles of inspiration and expiration.
  7. Diagram the heart indicating the chambers, blood vessels that enter and leave the heart, cardiac valves, layers of heart muscle, pericardium and blood supply to the myocardial tissues.
  8. Diagram the electrical conduction system of the heart and state the normal rate associated with each intrinsic pacemaker.

Outcome 2: Upon completion of this course, students will describe how spontaneous ventilation occurs.


  1. Diagram the lungs and thorax detailing the lung pressures and pressure gradients.
  2. Describe how the movement of the diaphragm affects lung pressures.
  3. Discuss the effects of surface tension on lung function.
  4. Given appropriate data, define compliance and resistance and calculate each.
  5. Define and describe the importance of deadspace ventilation.
  6. Given a graph of a ventilatory pattern, identify the ventilation pattern present.

Outcome 3: Upon completion of this course, students will list the steps of how a gas moves from the atmosphere to the bloodstream, and ultimately to the tissues.


  1. List the major gases present in the atmosphere and demonstrate how to determine the partial pressure of each gas and the total gas present.
  2. Given the appropriate information, calculate the PAO2.
  3. Diagram the pathway of gas diffusion across the alveolar capillary (AC) membrane and describe how each can affect gas diffusion.
  4. Explain how the DLCO test is performed to determine diffusion defects in the lung.
  5. Differentiate between hypoxia and hypoxemia and state how each are determined.
  6. List the indices that are used to assess oxygenation and describe how each affect the total amount of oxygen carried in the blood.
  7. Given appropriate known values, calculate the oxygen content, oxygen content difference, and oxygen delivery.
  8. List the factors that shift the oxyhemoglobin curve to the right and to the left.
  9. State the causes of hypoxemia and how each is treated.
  10. List the types of hypoxia and give an example of each.
  11. Explain how the V/Q ratio is derived and state the normal value.
  12. Given appropriate data, identify the types of V/Q ratios, and state a condition associated with this ratio.
  13. Given appropriate data, calculate the V/Q and deadspace fraction.
  14. List the types of deadspace and state how each are calculated.

Outcome 4: Upon completion of this course, students will describe how carbon dioxide is removed from the body and interpret laboratory values associated with blood-gas and acid-base values.


  1. List the three ways CO2 is transported in the plasma and the three ways it is transported in the RBC.
  2. Given the appropriate data, calculate the carbon dioxide content and state the normal values for each parameter.
  3. Describe the relationship between PaCO2, H ions, and pH.
  4. Describe the ratio of HCO3ions to H2CO3 (PaCO2).
  5. Given appropriate acid-base data, describe the acid-base status including level of compensation, oxygenation status, and state a possible cause of for the disorder.
  6. Differentiate between acute and chronic respiratory/ventilatory failure and identify acid-base disturbances that requires mechanical ventilation.
  7. Given an ABG, identify an acute exacerbation of COPD.

Outcome 5: Upon completion of this course, students will describe how ventilation is regulated.


  1. Describe the function of the respiratory centers in the medulla oblongata, apneustic, and pneumotaxic centers.
  2. Describe the function of the central and peripheral chemoreceptors.
  3. List and describe the various reflexes associated with ventilation.

Outcome 6: Upon completion of this course, students will describe the function of the cardiovascular system.


  1. List and describe the function of the various components of blood.
  2. Given appropriate data, calculate cardiac output, stroke volume, blood pressure, and vascular resistance and identify if each is out of range.
  3. List the factors that regulate stroke volume.
  4. Explain how the baroreceptors function to affect blood pressure.
  5. Describe the function of a pulmonary artery catheter and state how pulmonary capillary wedge pressure can be used to determine the type of heart failure present.

Outcome 7: Upon completion of this course, students will describe how pulmonary function is assessed and used in the diagnosis of pulmonary disease.


  1. List and describe the technique for determining the volumes and capacities of the lung and state their normal values.
  2. Using graph paper, diagram and calculate the key volumes and flowrates associated with a pulmonary function study.
  3. Given pulmonary function data, identify the process as obstructive, restrictive, mixed, or normal.

  • Communication: The graduate can communicate effectively for the intended purpose and audience.
  • Critical Thinking: The graduate can make informed decisions after analyzing information or evidence related to the issue.
  • Global Literacy: The graduate can analyze human behavior or experiences through cultural, social, political, or economic perspectives.
  • Information Literacy: The graduate can responsibly use information gathered from a variety of formats in order to complete a task.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: The graduate can apply quantitative methods or evidence to solve problems or make judgments.
  • Scientific Literacy: The graduate can produce or interpret scientific information presented in a variety of formats.
CDO marked YES apply to this course:
Communication: YES
Critical Thinking: YES
Global Literacy: YES
Information Literacy: YES
Quantitative Reasoning: YES
Scientific Literacy: YES


  1. Anatomy Review
    1. Directional Terms
    2. Planes of the Body
  2. Anatomy of the Respiratory System
    1. Tissue Epithelium
    2. Upper Airway
    3. Lower Airway
    4. Site of Gas Exchange
    5. Pulmonary Vascular System
    6. Neural Control
    7. Lungs
    8. Mediastinum
    9. Thorax
    10. Muscles of Ventilation
  3. Ventilation
    1. Pressure Differences
    2. Mechanics of Ventilation
    3. Static Characteristics of the Lung
      1. Elastic
      2. Surface Tension
    4. Dynamic Characteristics of the Lung
    5. Ventilatory Patterns
  4. Diffusion
    1. Dalton’s Law
    2. AlveolarCapillary structure
    3. Alveolar Gas Equation
    4. Gas Diffusion across the AC membrane
  5. Pulmonary Function
    1. Lung Volumes
    2. Lung Capacities
    3. Pulmonary Function Studies
  6. Circulatory System
    1. Blood Composition
    2. Heart Anatomy
    3. Systemic and Pulmonary Vascular Resistance
    4. Conduction System
    5. Electrocardiography
    6. Blood Pressure
    7. Heart Failure
    8. Baroreceptors
    9. Blood Volume
  7. Oxygen Transport
    1. Oxygen Transport
    2. Oxygen Dissociation Curve
    3. Tissue Hypoxia
    4. Cyanosis
    5. Polycythemia
    6. Pulse Oximetry
  8. Carbon Dioxide Transport
    1. Carbon Dioxide Transport
    2. Carbon Dioxide Elimination
    3. Carbon Dioxide Dissociation Curve
    4. Acid-Base Balance
    5. Base Excess/Deficit
  9. Ventilation Perfusion Relationships
  10. Control of Breathing

Primary Faculty
Niemer, Laurie
Secondary Faculty
Zahodnic, Richard
Associate Dean
Shaw, Andrea
Mirijanian, Narine

Primary Syllabus - Macomb Community College, 14500 E 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088

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