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Physiology, Basic Concepts


Admission requirements

General knowledge of the English language, biology, mathematics, physics, and chemistry as required for students to be accepted for Biomedical Sciences.


The course Physiology, Basic Concepts, consists of two main themes.

Theme 1. Cardiovascular and Respiratory System (prof.dr. Steendijk)

  • Anatomy of the heart and vessels

  • Cardiac electrophysiology and ECG

  • Molecular mechanisms

  • Excitation-contraction coupling

  • Cardiac muscle physiology and cardiac function

  • Gas exchange and transport

  • Cardio-pulmonary interaction

  • Cardio-vascular interaction

  • Neurohormonal control

  • Exercise and heart failure

Theme 2. Kidneys and Homeostasis (dr. Gaasbeek)

  • Anatomy of the kidneys

  • Renal clearance and blood flow

  • Regulation of glomular filtration rate and renal blood flow

  • Tubular transport systems and functions

  • Urine dilution an concentration

  • Acid-base regulation

  • Osmolality and volume regulation

Course objectives

The student:

  • describes and defines the structure and functions of the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system and the kidneys

  • relates the functions of organs/organ-systems to the specific anatomical, mechanical and (with regard to the heart) electrical properties

  • describes the role of these organ system in homeostasis of the organism

  • illustrates by clinical examples how several pathophysiologic conditions of organs/organ-systems can be viewed from basic physiological principles


Between semesters, we will transfer from using the scheduling app to using MyTimeTable: all educational activities before 6 February 2023 can be viewed on our LUMC scheduling website or in the scheduling app. View MyTimeTable for your schedule from 6 February onwards.

Mode of instruction

Plenary lectures, interactive seminars, practicals, working groups, e-learning, rehearsal exams.

Assessment method

Two exams. Exam 1: Cardiovascular System (50%); Exam 2: Kidneys and Homeostasis (50%). Final course grade is the average of exam 1 and exam 2, but each individual exam should score at least grade 4.5.

Reading list

  • Moore: Clinically oriented anatomy (8th edition, 2017)

  • Pawlina: Histology (8th edition, 2019)

  • Boron: Medical Physiology (3rd edition,2016)

  • Herring & Paterson: Levick's Introduction to Cardiovascular Physiology. (6th ed. 2018)


Registration must be done via MyStudyMap. Registration in MyStudyMap gives you automatic access to the course in Brightspace. For more information, please visit the Leiden University website for students.