Pathophysiology – Introduction as a science and medical disciplines

Introduction to Pathophysiology as a science and medical disciplines. Subject, tasks, and methods of studying pathological physiology.

Pathophysiology – the doctrine of the bodily functions of the patient (pathos – injury, illness).

Pathophysiology – is a medical discipline that studies the most general laws of occurrence, development, and outcome of the disease and the pathological process that studies the principles of their treatment, as well as the problems of methodology obtained about the disease or pathological process knowledge.

Pathophysiology refers to medical and biological sciences, combining biological sciences (biology, biochemistry, anatomy, histology, physiology, etc.) With clinical disciplines (internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, neurology, etc.). Pathophysiology – this section of the medicine – a science that has as its main task, on the one hand, maintaining and promoting human health and on the other – the prevention of diseases and treatment of patients. The very same medicine arose at the intersection of the natural and social sciences (disciplines) and consists of health sciences and the science of the disease (pathology).

Below is a chart showing the pathophysiology place among other medical and biological and clinical disciplines.

Natural Sciences Social Sciences

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Science Health Sciences diseases (anatomy, physiology, (pathological anatomy, pathophysiology, histology, hygiene), surgery, pediatrics)

Pathological physiology exists in two related conditions (Pathophysiology)

I. Pathological physiology (Pathophysiology) as a science.

The study of pathological physiology as a science by scientists pathophysiology.

Tasks Pathophysiology as a science.

  1. The study etiology of disease.

Etiology (aitia – reason) – is the study of the causes and conditions of the disease.

  1. The study of the pathogenesis of the disease.

Pathogenesis – a mechanism of the disease (the mechanism of injury and the mechanism of protection at illness).

  1. The study of mechanisms of disease outcome (recovery mechanisms, mechanisms of dying).
  2. Development of the principles of treatment of the disease (etiotropic, pathogenetic, sanogenetic, symptomatic).
  3. Prevention of diseases, as well as the methodology, obtained knowledge about the disease (disease of comprehension received knowledge from the standpoint of philosophy: the formation of hypotheses, theories, concepts of illness, etc.).


II. Pathological physiology (Pathophysiology) as a medical discipline

The object and purpose of pathophysiology as a medical discipline.

  1. General nosology– the general doctrine of the disease (the general laws of occurrence, development and outcome of the disease).

Topics included in the first section:

– The introduction, the subject methods;

– A disease in historical terms;

– General nosology;

– Disease-causing environmental factors;

– Common pathogenesis;

– The doctrine of the reactivity of the organism, allergic reactivity, immunological reactivity, heredity and disease.

  1. General typical pathological processes(inflammation, fever, tumor process, extreme conditions, etc.).

Topics included in the second section:

– Standard peripheral circulatory disorders;

– Inflammation,

– Fever,

– Extreme condition (shock, collapse, coma)

– Lack of oxygen (hypoxia)

– Typical metabolic disorders,

– Stress and distress,

– Neoplastic process.

  1. Typical pathological processes of organs and systems(heart arrhythmia, heart failure, respiratory failure, anemia, kidney failure and others.).

Topics included in the third section:

– Typical disorders of the nervous system,

– Typical disorders of the endocrine system,

– Typical disorders of the cardiovascular system,

– Typical disorders of the blood system,

– Typical disorders of the respiratory system,

– Typical digestive disorders,

– Typical of the liver,

– Typical renal impairment.


Sometimes artificially first two sections are combined together and called “general pathophysiology,” the third section is even more artificial (formally) called “private pathophysiology.” However, in all three sections examine general patterns of disease.

The challenges facing students in the study of the pathophysiology of both medical disciplines.

  1. To study the general laws of occurrence, development and outcome of the disease.
  2. Prepare yourself to the perception of the disease process in the hospital – at the bedside.
  3. Remember – every disease always has: its specific causes and conditions, its pathogenesis, knowledge of which is necessary for an accurate diagnosis for proper treatment of any disease.
  4. Remember that effective treatment can only be based on the principles of causal, pathogenetic, sanogenetic and symptomatic treatment of the disease.
  5. Remember – the doctor all their knowledge, their experience, should devote a lifetime to the service of the interests of the sick person’s health.


The basic method of pathophysiology – method pathophysiological experiment.


Its essence – the modeling of disease or pathological process in an experiment to study.

Types pathophysiological experiments:

  1. Method pathophysiological experiment – modeling of human disease in animal experiments.
  2. Method pathophysiological experiment on humans (“natural experiment” – on volunteers),


Pathophysiological features of the experiment is that it consists of three phases:

  1. Physiological phase– study of healthy body functions.
  2. Pathophysiological phase– modeling of disease or pathological process and the study of functions on the background of the disease.
  3. Phase experimental therapy– the use of experimental therapy and follow-up restoration functions.


Auxiliary research methods in pathophysiological experiment:

  1. Physiological,
  2. Morphological,
  3. Biochemical,
  4. Immunological,
  5. Physico-chemical,
  6. Physical,
  7. Mathematical,
  8. Clinical,
  9. Comparative evolutionary method,
  10. The method of studying isolated organs and tissues in culture in vitro.


Clinical Pathophysiology – learning clinically in patients.