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Anatomy & Physiology >> Heart & Circulation/Vascular Tissues/Lymph >> Lymphatic System


Vascular Tissues


Diseases and Disorders


Circulatory Diseases and Disorders


Low erythrocyte count leading to general tiredness. Usually due to lack of iron in the diet particularly after blood loss, including menstruation. Note that iron is poorly absorbed in the diet but is effectively reabsorbed when erythrocytes are broken down. Anaemia may also occur due to a lack of B vitamins.

Varicose veins

Where veins become distended due to excessive pressure. This invariably occurs as result of faulty valves allowing backflow. They may develop congenitally or as a result of long periods sitting or standing without moving (they are commonest in the legs).


A (usually) sex linked genetic disorder in which the blood is unable to clot usually due to a lack of factor VIII. This is only found in males but may be carried by females.


Hardening of the arterial walls i.e. reduced elasticity, largely as a consequence of degenerative changes with ageing. This leads to an increase in blood pressure.


An accumulation of low density lipoproteins (LDL's) principally cholesterol, on the inside wall of the arteries. This reduces the cross sectional area of the lumen leading to an increased blood pressure and an increased likelihood of blockage. May be caused by hypertension.

HIV / Aids

A retro virus that affect the immune system.


High blood pressure which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, brain & kidney damage.


Low blood pressure but usually used to describe an acute drop in BP during circulatory shock. May also be congenital or due to under active adrenaline glands.

High Cholesterol

Principally due to poor diet high in saturated (animal) fat but may be due to a metabolic disorder. Note: cholesterol is a normal and essential body chemical essential to the formation of cell membranes. High cholesterol leads to the formation of atherosclerosis which reduces blood vessel diameter leading to hypertension.


Where the pancreas is unable to produce sufficient insulin which. is needed to maintain a steady level of blood sugar (homeostasis).


Inflammation of the liver. Can be caused by viruses, drugs and chemicals including alcohol.

Hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis)

Viral. Spread by faecal contamination of food, clothing etc (faecal-oral route). It is generally a mild disease of children and young adults. Symptoms - anorexia, malaise, nausea, diarrhoea. Eventually jaundice. Recovery - 4-6 weeks with no lasting liver damage.

Hepatitis B (serum hepatitis)

Viral. Spread by bodily fluids, principally syringes etc. Can also be spread by tears, saliva & semen. Produces chronic liver inflammation and can persist for many years and maybe throughout life. Such people are carriers and are at risk from cirrhosis.

Hepatitis C (non-A, non-B hepatitis.)

A form of hepatitis caused by an RNA virus. Most people with hepatitis C contracted it either through blood products that was contaminated with hepatitis C, or by sharing needles with intravenous drug users. But anyone is at risk. Researchers have found that many people infected with hepatitis C don't even know it. From 20 - 40% of patients in inner-city hospitals are infected, as are 80% of drug users.

HCV testing with modern sensitive methods, the risk of acquiring hepatitis C from blood transfusion is now less than 1%. Infected mothers can pass the virus to the foetus in utero but this occurs less than 1% of the time. (may occur more readily if the mother is also infected with HIV. It is clinically similar to B

Coronary Thrombosis

A condition in which the heart muscle receives insufficient blood due to an interruption in its supply. This may be due to a thrombus - A heart attack.


Inflammation and enlargement of the rectal veins (varicose) Initially in the anus, they may enlarge and prolapse. May be caused by constipation and straining.


Inflammation of the vein often in the leg


An internal blood clot i.e. within the heart or unbroken blood vessels.


Uncontrolled white blood cell division. Many of the cells fail to mature. The symptoms are due to these cells interfering with the bodies normal process. Symptoms - Anaemia and Bleeding - White cells crowd out bone marrow cells. (internal haemorrhage, especially cerebral, is most common mortality reason.) Another major cause is infection - note that white blood cells fail to mature.

Hodgkin's Disease

Lymphatic Cancer.


Stress causes the release of adrenaline which is designed to prepare the body for activity. This leads to hypertension and fat deposition in the blood vessels.