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Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts

Richard E. Klabunde, PhD


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Microvascular Fluid Exchange Tutorial

This tutorial provides a systematic approach to learning by using a sequence that is similar to how this topic would unfold in a traditional textbook. The student is encouraged to go not only to the initial link associated with each tutorial question but also to use embedded hyperlinks to expand upon the physiological concepts associated with the question.

Quiz Questions Linked to Tutorial

At the end of the tutorial, there is a link to an external website ( that has multiple choice and true/false questions that are associated with the tutorial. When the quiz results are given to the user after taking the quiz, links are provided back to specific pages to assist learning. Users will need to register (free) on the site to access the quiz questions for the tutorial. No personal information is available to other than the user provided login name and analysis of user performance on the quiz questions. This feedback will improve content and quiz questions.


  1. What is the role of fluid filtration, fluid reabsorption and lymphatic flow in balancing fluid exchange between intravascular and extravascular compartments?
  2. How do changes in tissue (interstitial) and plasma hydrostatic and oncotic pressures, and the net driving force, affect the direction of transcapillary fluid movement?
  3. What determines the rate of fluid movement across capillaries for a net driving force of hydrostatic and oncotic pressures?
  4. How do changes in each of the following affect capillary hydrostatic pressure: arterial and venous pressures, pre- and postcapillary resistances.
  5. Why do changes in venous pressure have a greater effect on capillary pressure than changes in arterial pressure?
  6. Why does oncotic pressure (colloid osmotic pressure) rather than total osmotic pressure govern fluid exchange across the capillary?
  7. What is the significance of the reflection coefficient for proteins in terms of how it affects the oncotic pressure generated by proteins?
  8. How does the interstitial compliance of a tissue determine how much tissue pressure rises for a given increase in interstitial volume?
  9. What can cause tissue edema?

Link to Quiz Questions:

Revised  01/31/2023

DISCLAIMER: These materials are for educational purposes only, and are not a source of medical decision-making advice.