Primary Examination SAQs

Study notes for the ANZCA Primary Examination SAQs

CVS & Respiratory Drugs

with 12 comments

2011a(5) List the classes of drugs that may be used to manage hypertensive crisis and briefly outline the mechanism of action

2009b(7)06b(7)05b(5) Outline the pharmacological management of ventricular fibrillation in an adult with reference to drugs, dose, mechanism of action, and potential adverse effects

2008b(3) List the anaesthetic related uses of clonidine. What are the effects of clonidine on the CVS & CNS? How are these effects mediated?

2008a(8) Define the mechanisms of action and adverse effects of metoprolol, GTN & diltiazem when used to manage myocardial ischaemia

2008a(4)06a(1)Outline the pharmacologic management of bronchoconstriction in acute severe asthma, including mechanisms of action and potential adverse effects

2007b(8): Write short notes on anti-hypertensive drugs that exert their action by blocking effects of angiotensin

2006b(1)/1998a(14): Describe the use of different sympathomimetics to treat hypotension occurring as a result of a subarachnoid block. Outline the advantages and disadvantages of each of these agents

2005b(8)Describe the adverse effects of beta adrenoceptor antagonists

2005a(7)/2000a(11)/1997a(11): Outline the main biochemical events involved in noradrenergic transmission. Outline how these may by altered by the use of MAO-Inhibitors

2004b(8): List the classes of drugs used clinically to treat left ventricular failure. Outline their mechanisms of action

2004a(7)Describe mechanisms of action of inotropes and give examples

2004a(6): Outline the circulatory effect of GTN

2003b(6): List the potential clinical uses of αlpha 2 adrenoceptor agonists and outline the limitation of clonidine for each

2003a(7): Classify diuretics, briefly explaining their mode of action

2002b(8): Outline the pharmacological effects of vasopressin

2002b(7)/2001b(15): Outline the potential advantages and disadvantages of intra- (& peri-) operative beta blockade

2002a(13): What are the side effects of amiodarone? What problems develop during concurrent anaesthesia?

2001a(15): Compare and contrast the pharmacology of esmolol and propranolol

1999b(2): Briefly describe the mechanisms and treatment of toxicity of SNP

1999a(16): Describe the effects of alpha 2 adrenoceptor agonists relevant to anaesthesia

1996a(15): Describe briefly the pharmacology of adenosine and its potential use in anaesthesia

Written by primarysaqs

December 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm

12 Responses

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  1. Amanda – not sure of you’re updating these, but the 2008b(3) question states that the early increase in MAP is due to peripheral alpha-2 activity, I think that should be alpha-1. Cheers, Damien…


    May 24, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    • Hi Damien

      Nice pick! This will be corrected immediately!

      Thanks, Amanda


      May 24, 2010 at 8:22 pm

  2. However the exam report for the question states that the initial hypertension is due to alpha2 activity.
    Stoelting also states that alpha2 receptors mediate vasoconstriction. (4th Ed, p. 343).

    Thanks, Michelle.


    June 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    • The mechanism of the initial hypertension with clonidine use is certainly controversial! There are camps which attribute it to alpha 1 activation – remember clonidine still has alpha 1 activity (200 times less than its alpha 2 action!), and those which believe the vasoconstriction is caused by activation of the peripheral alpha 2 receptor (increased NA release).

      If you can work this in in either the written or the viva it is bound to serve you well!!


      June 13, 2010 at 11:55 am

  3. hi Amanda, your makeup question, compare contrast alpha 1 antagonists , with regards to phentolamine. cvs effect, alpha 2 presynaoric inhibition, results in incr NA release . should it be decr NA release, negative inotrophy?


    September 4, 2010 at 12:29 am

  4. my mistake , we’re talking bout alpha antagonist, you’re right:) what was I thinking!


    September 4, 2010 at 12:33 am

  5. Hi Amanda, Great work, I am enjoying working with these questions and answers.

    A very small thing, in your answer to 2004a(7): (about inotropes) you mention Phenylephrine as a ‘Direct β-adrenoceptor’ stimulant. Most text books list this as almost exclusively an alpha 1 agonist.
    E.g. Stoelting 4th ed. Page 293.

    Cheers, Graham

    Cheers, Graham

    Graham Wesley

    November 24, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    • Nice pick Graham! Phenylephrine is indeed alpha 1 selective. Thanks for letting me know!



      November 25, 2010 at 11:56 am

  6. Hi Amanda,
    I’m looking for your notes on Pharm 05A8 re anaphylaxis and epinephrine. Would you be able to direct me to it? Thanks.


    February 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    • Hi Claire, the question you are referring to is in “Allergy & Immunology” which is in the Physiology section. You may not have been able to find it if you used ‘epinephrine’ as the search term as I changed that to ‘adrenaline’ in the title page (we aren’t in the US after all!).

      Hope this helps!



      February 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm

  7. Hi Amanda – 08a4 under adrenaline stats “b2 agonist effect: GiPCR”. I think this should be GsPCR? Cheers, Simon.


    December 5, 2011 at 9:43 pm

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