The Rx Bricks Podcast
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he ductus arteriosus (DA) is a structure that allows blood pumped from the right side of the heart to bypass the lungs while the fetus is developing in utero. Normally, the DA closes shortly after birth and becomes the ligamentum arteriosum. When the DA fails to close (remains open, or patent) after birth, it is…Listen »
Megaloblast. Now there’s a word you don’t hear every day. The root -blast (from the Greek blastos, meaning germ or bud) may be somewhat familiar since we talk about blast cells (very young hematopoietic precursor cells) in hematology. And megalo- (from the Greek megas, meaning large or great) is also used fairly frequently, as in splenomegaly (enlargement…Listen »
Gallstones are the hardened precipitates—“stones”—of the substrates found in bile. The liver makes bile to help digest fats, and the bile is stored in the gallbladder. When there is an excess of a particular substance in the bile (eg, cholesterol or unconjugated bilirubin), gallstones form in the gallbladder. Gallstones can be as small as a…Listen »
Blood glucose is proof that you can have too much of a good thing. While glucose serves a critical role as fuel for many of our bodily functions, it must remain in a very tightly controlled range. If the level goes too low, you can fall into a coma. If glucose is too high, damage…Listen »
Stimulant medications are drugs that increase alertness and attention. They also elevate heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. Stimulants are used to treat many conditions, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chronic lethargy, narcolepsy, and obesity. Examples of stimulants include caffeine, amphetamines (such as dextroamphetamine), methylphenidate, and modafinil. Cognitive-enhancing drugs serve a similar purpose, increasing memory,…Listen »
When you hear the word blood, what do you picture in your mind? Most likely, your brain conjures up an image of thick, red liquid. But what would blood look like if you removed all the red cells? You’d be left with a murky yellowish liquid that would clear up once you removed the white…Listen »
In the fed state, glucose is used by almost all the cells in the body to generate energy. But even when we are not fueling it with food, our bodies still run well, such as during sleep. Gluconeogenesis is the process of synthesizing glucose from noncarbohydrate precursors. The major substrates (substances that enzymes act on)…Listen »
How do we survive in a complex environment filled with harmful organisms that thrive on colonizing us? Our heroic defender is the immune system, a network of organs and cell lines that exist with the mission of protecting the body from harm. While we often recognize the pathogen-fighting capabilities of the system, we can sometimes…Listen »
It might not be the flashiest anatomical structure, but if you want to stand upright, and keep your retroperitoneal organs (like your kidneys) in place, the posterior abdominal wall is pretty important. Located at the back of the body, bounded by the lateral abdominal walls and the posterior parietal peritoneum, the posterior abdominal wall is…Listen »
Mitral stenosis (MS) is narrowing of the mitral valve. In the normal cardiac cycle, the heart relaxes during diastole and allows blood to flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle through the open mitral valve. When the mitral valve is narrowed, blood flow becomes restricted (Figure 1). Excess volume and pressure build up…Listen »