NBME Physiology Test
After an overnight fast, a 52-year-old man undergoes infusion of acid through a catheter into the upper duodenum. This most likely will increase pancreatic secretion mainly through the action of which of the following substances?
A hormone is known to activate phospholipase C with subsequent release of calcium from internal stores. The release of calcium most likely occurs as a result of an increase in the concentration of which of the following intracellular second messengers?
A female newborn delivered at 32 weeks’ gestation develops severe respiratory distress within hours of birth. Despite resuscitative efforts, the patient dies. Examination of the lungs at autopsy shows lung alveoli with radii of less than 50 μm (N=100). Which of the following is most likely decreased in the lungs of this newborn?
A 20-year-old woman is brought to the emergency department 20 minutes after being stung by a wasp. She says that she feels a lump in her throat and chest tightness. She has a history of allergy to wasp venom. Her pulse is 120/min, and blood pressure is 80/40 mm Hg. Physical examination shows eruptions that coalesce into giant urticaria. There is audible wheezing. Which of the following best describes the cause of this patient’s reaction?
During an experiment on the cough reflex in humans, a volunteer inhales air containing different amounts of particles that will impact and adhere to mucus primarily in the trachea. Blockade of which of the following receptors would most likely prevent this volunteer’s reflex to initiate a cough?
A 77-year-old man comes to the physician because of swelling of his legs and feet for 6 months. He has a 40-year history of alcoholism and a 5-year history of hepatic disease. Physical examination shows ascites and a 2+ edema of the lower extremities. A decrease in which of the following most likely promotes edema formation in this patient?
A 28-year-old woman comes to the physician because of a 3-month history of shortness of breath with exertion. She takes an oral contraceptive. There are no occupational exposures to birds or grain dusts. Her respirations are 20/min. The lungs are clear to auscultation. Cardiac examination shows a regular rate and rhythm; S2 is slightly louder than S1 . Cardiac catheterization shows a pulmonary artery pressure of 78/31 mm Hg (N=15–30/3–12) with a normal left ventricular end-diastolic pressure. Which of the following is most likely changed in this patient?
A 25-year-old woman comes to the physician because of a 2-day history of muscle cramps and profuse, watery stools. She returned from a trip to Pakistan 3 days ago. Her temperature is 37°C (98.6°F), pulse is 120/min, and blood pressure is 80/50 mm Hg. Stool culture shows numerous curved, gram-negative bacteria; there are no erythrocytes or leukocytes. Oral rehydration is initiated. The blood pressure increases, and the pulse decreases. The oral hydration formula most likely promotes sodium absorption via the gut by allowing cotransport with which of the following?
A 35-year-old man has an adenoma of the parathyroid gland, with increased serum concentrations of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcium. In this patient, PTH induces which of the following processes to cause hypercalcemia?
A 28-year-old man with a history of intravenous drug use comes to the physician because of a 6-week history of fever, nonproductive cough, chills, and progressive shortness of breath. His temperature is 39°C (102.2°F), pulse is 110/min, respirations are 32/min and regular, and blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg. Physical examination shows a white, patchy, loosely adherent exudate on the buccal mucosa bilaterally. A chest x-ray shows bilateral interstitial infiltrates. After receiving treatment for pneumonia, he agrees to participate in a clinical study of the effects of interleukin-2 (IL-2). After administration of IL-2, which of the following hematologic changes is most likely in this patient?
A 4-hour-old female newborn delivered at 30 weeks’ gestation has respiratory distress. Her temperature is 36.5°C (97.7°F), pulse is 160/min, respirations are 85/min, and blood pressure is 68/40 mm Hg. Arterial blood gas analysis on room air shows: pH 7.18 PCO2 78 mm Hg PO2 55 mm Hg Endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation are required. The primary cause of this patient’s condition is a dysfunction of which of the following cell types?
A 39-year-old woman comes to the physician for a follow-up examination because she recently was diagnosed with hypertension. Her blood pressure is 156/100 mm Hg. Physical examination shows no other abnormalities. Serum studies show normal findings. A 24-hour urine collection shows three times the normal excretion of epinephrine and metanephrine. The excessive epinephrine production in this patient is most likely caused by which of the following cell types?
A 30-year-old woman comes to the physician for a routine health maintenance examination. She takes no medications. Physical examination shows no abnormalities. Serum studies show a calcium concentration of 12 mg/dL. An increase in which of the following substances is the most likely cause of the serum finding in this patient?
The blood flow through an organ is measured while the perfusion pressure is varied experimentally. An abrupt, sustained increase in perfusion pressure increases flow initially, but over the course of 1 minute, the flow returns nearly to the baseline level despite continued elevation of the perfusion pressure. The organ under study is exhibiting which of the following?
A 5-year-old girl falls through the ice while skating on an outdoor pond. She is removed from the water within 1 minute, but dry clothing is not available, and she is still cold and wet 20 minutes later. Which of the following mechanisms helps maintain the patient’s core temperature during the period following her rescue?
A demonstration is performed during a lecture on muscle physiology in which a student is asked to fully extend his right arm with the palm up. Two large textbooks are placed on his palm, one at a time. Which of the following facilitates the maximum amount of tension that allows the student to keep his arm extended in place under the increasing weight of the books?
A 55-year-old woman who is obese has a greater risk for endometrial carcinoma than a 55-year-old woman with the same health history and status who is not obese. Which of the following best explains this increased risk?
A 22-year-old man is brought to the emergency department because of a 6-hour history of severe, sharp, upper back pain. He has had progressive fatigue during the past 3 weeks. He is 183 cm (6 ft) tall and weighs 79 kg (175 lb); BMI is 24 kg/m2 . His temperature is 36.9°C (98.5°F), pulse is 90/min, and blood pressure is 160/55 mm Hg. Physical examination shows long, thin upper and lower extremities. Fingertip to fingertip with arms outstretched is 189 cm (74 in) wide. A high-pitched midsystolic click is heard predominantly over the apex. Which of the following best describes the primary genetic cause of this patient’s condition?
A 26-year-old woman is brought to the emergency department because of a 4-day history of flu-like symptoms accompanied by vomiting following each attempt to eat or drink. Her temperature is 38.5°C (101.3°F), pulse is 93/min, respirations are 24/min, and blood pressure is 105/70 mm Hg. Physical examination shows no other abnormalities. Which of the following additional findings is most likely in this patient?
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