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A-Level Biology Revision Notes

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PBL 1 Out firm 1. Define terms: Rouleaux: A cylindrical structure in the blood formed from several red blood cells piled one upon the other and adhering by their rims. Transient Ischaemic Attack: (TIA) The result of temporary disruption of the circulation to part of the brain due to embolism, thrombosis to brain arteries, or spasm of the vessel walls. The symptoms maybe similar to those of a stroke but patients recover within 24 hours. ESR: (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate) The rate at which red blood cells (erythrocytes) settle out of suspension in blood plasma, measured under standardized conditions. The ESR increases if the level of certain proteins in the plasma rises, as in rheumatic disease, chronic infections, and malignant disease, and thus provides a simple but valuable screening test for these conditions. Serum Ferritin: An iron-protein complex that is one of the forms in which iron is stored in the tissues. Reticulocytes: An immature red blood cell (erythrocyte). Reticulocytes maybe detected and counted by staining living red cells with certain dyes that result in the formation of a blue precipitate (reticulum) within the reticulocytes. They normally comprise about 1% of the total red cells and are increased (reticulocytosis) whenever the rate of red cell production increases. Total Iron Binding Capacity: A test that measures indirectly the transferrin level in the bloodstream. ...read more.


Serum ferritin is normal or raised. There is stainable iron present in the bone marrow and therefore patients do not respond to iron therapy. However iron is not seen in the developing erythroblasts. Treatment is, in general, that of the underlying disorder, although trials are being carried out with recombination erythropoietin in some patients, for example those with rheumatoid arthritis. 4. Endocarditis and its Management There are four one-way heart valves that allow blood to be pumped forward from one chamber to another and throughout the body. At the same time these valves prevent blood from backing up into other chambers and the lungs. Endocarditis is a medical term that refers to infection of a heart valve. Although several different types of organisms can cause endocarditis, it is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Endocarditis occurs when bacteria in the bloodstream "take up residence" and begin to grow and multiply on the heart valve. Untreated, this bacterial infection can gradually "eat away" at and damage the heart valve, causing it to malfunction. Infection of the heart valve can spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, causing infection in the blood (septicemia) and in other parts of the body. Causes The vast majority of cases of endocarditis are caused by a bacterial infection. Heart valves that have previously been damaged in some way or are dysfunctional are believed to be more prone to develop infections, though infection can also occur on a perfectly normal heart valve. ...read more.


This includes routine dental work, minor surgery, and procedures that may traumatize body tissues such as colonoscopy and gynecologic or urologic examinations. Examples of antibiotics used include oral amoxicillin and erythromycin (Emycin, Eryc,PCE), as well as intramuscular or intravenous ampicillin, gentamicin, and vancomycin. Surgery If your heart valve becomes severely damaged from endocarditis or if infection develops in an artificial heart valve, surgery may be needed to repair or replace the valve.5 Before recommending surgery, your doctor will evaluate: * Your age. People over age 60 may have complications following surgery. * Your history of heart failure. People with severe heart failure have a higher risk of complications during and following heart valve surgery. * Whether you have significant and recurrent blood clots (emboli). * Whether the growths resulting from infection have enlarged, increased in number, or are causing additional problems. If so, surgery may help prevent serious complications, such as a heart attack.6 * The type of bacterium or fungus that is causing the endocarditis. Fungal infection is especially hard to destroy with medication. Surgical removal of the fungus and replacement of an infected heart valve may be the best way to control endocarditis caused by a fungus. * Whether abscesses have developed in the heart. Complications If complications from endocarditis develop, additional treatment may be needed. Treatment for endocarditis is usually guided by an infectious disease specialist. A cardiologist may also be involved if there is damage to the heart muscle or valves. A cardiovascular surgeon is needed if you have heart valve replacement surgery ...read more.

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