Anatomy and Physiology Review Quiz

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15 Questions

What is a key feature of all endocrine glands?

They secrete hormones

Why are endocrine glands referred to as 'ductless' glands?

Because they must use the blood to transport hormones to target tissues

Which system works in conjunction with the endocrine system to control overall body function and regulation?

Nervous system

How do hormones recognize their target tissues?

By binding to receptor sites on target tissue cells

Which of the following is NOT an endocrine gland as mentioned in the text?


What is the main concept behind hormone-receptor interactions?

Hormones bind to receptors in a specific manner for activation.

What is the primary method by which hormones produce specific responses in the body?

By activating the target tissue to change its activity

How do endocrine disorders typically manifest?

Slowly and insidiously or abruptly and life-threatening

What is the effect of aging on the endocrine system?

Decreased glandular function and hormone secretion

'Negative feedback' control mechanisms for hormone synthesis refer to which of the following?

Hormones causing an action opposite to the initial condition change

When examining a patient's fingernails, what abnormalities may suggest thyroid gland problems?

Malformation and thickness

What type of skin changes may reflect a specific endocrine dysfunction?

Slow wound healing and bruising

Which imaging method is the most sensitive for viewing the pituitary gland?

Magnetic resonance imaging with contrast

What is the purpose of performing suppression tests in endocrine evaluations?

To determine hormone production capability

What is the significance of assessing changes in energy levels when examining a patient?

Identifying psychological responses

Study Notes

Hormone-Receptor Actions

  • Hormone-receptor actions work in a "lock and key" manner, where only the correct hormone can bind to and activate the receptor site.
  • Binding a hormone to its receptor causes the target tissue to change its activity.
  • Hormones produce specific responses even though they circulate throughout the body.

Disorders of the Endocrine System

  • Disorders of the endocrine system are related to either an excess or a deficiency of a specific hormone or to a defect at its receptor site.
  • The onset of these disorders can be either slow and insidious or abrupt and life-threatening.

Control of Cellular Function

  • The control of cellular function by any hormone depends on a series of reactions working through negative feedback control mechanisms.
  • When a condition starts to move away from the normal range, secretion of the hormone capable of causing the correct response is stimulated until the need or demand is met.
  • As the correction occurs, hormone secretion decreases and may halt.

Complex Interactions

  • Some hormones have more complex interactions, with a series of reactions in which more than one endocrine gland, as well as the final target tissue, is stimulated.
  • The effects of aging on the endocrine system vary but usually result in reduced glandular function and decreased hormone secretion.

Assessment Methods

  • Endocrine problems can disturb any health pattern, with the most commonly affected patterns being nutrition, metabolic, activity, elimination, sleep, and sexual and reproductive functions.
  • Age and gender of the patient provide baseline assessment data.

Anatomy and Physiology Review

  • The endocrine system is made up of glands in many tissues and organs in a variety of body areas.
  • A key feature of all endocrine glands is the secretion of hormones.
  • Hormones are natural chemicals that exert their effects on specific tissues known as target tissues.
  • Target tissues are usually located some distance from the endocrine gland, with no direct physical connection between the endocrine gland and its target tissue.

Patient Assessment

  • Assess the patient for a history of endocrine dysfunction and for manifestations that could indicate an endocrine disorder, especially those that have required hospitalization.
  • Ask the patient about other family members with endocrine disorders because some endocrine problems have a genetic component.
  • Ask the patient what prescribed and over-the-counter drugs were or are taken on a regular basis because some drugs can alter endocrine function.

Laboratory Tests

  • Laboratory tests are an essential part of the diagnostic process, including tests of blood, urine, and saliva.
  • Underactivity of an endocrine gland may require stimulation to determine whether the gland is capable of normal hormone production.
  • Suppression tests are used when hormone levels are high or in the upper range of normal.
  • An assay measures the level of a specific hormone in blood or other body fluid.

Imaging Studies

  • Anterior, posterior, and lateral skull x-rays may be used to view the sella turcica, the bony pocket in the skull where the pituitary gland rests.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging with contrast is the most sensitive method of imaging the pituitary gland, although computed tomography (CT) scans can also evaluate.
  • The thyroid, parathyroid glands, ovaries, and testes are evaluated by ultrasound.
  • CT scans are also used to evaluate the adrenal glands, ovaries, and pancreas.

Test your knowledge on key concepts of the endocrine system, such as nutrition, elimination, fluid and electrolyte balance, and hormone secretion. Explore the interrelated concepts of glands and target tissues.

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