MedSmarter_Question Breakdown_Pharmacology_07282021

QBDOTW: A Patient is being treated for Hypertension

Welcome to MedSmarter’s USMLE Style Question Break Down of the Week.  For those preparing for the USMLE Step 1, this week we break down a high-yield Pharmacology question.  As always you want to begin with reading the last sentence of the vignette first to get an understanding of what the question is asking for. However, since this is a short vignette it would be okay to start from the beginning.

Question Break Down of the Week:

A patient is being treated with β-blockers for hypertension. Which of the following describes the effects of β-blockers on end-diastolic volume (EDV), blood pressure (BP), contractility, heart rate (HR), and ejection time?

USMLE Style Question Breakdown Pharmacology Chart

A)  A
B)  B
C)  C
D)  D
E)  E

The correct answer choice is D: β-Blockers decrease contractility and heart rate (resulting in decreased oxygen consumption) by inhibiting β-receptors in the heart. A decrease in heart rate will then allow more time for diastolic filling (increasing EDV) and systolic ejection (increasing ejection time). In addition, β-blockers will decrease the secretion of renin, thus diminishing the renin-angiotensin cascade and reducing blood pressure.

Did you think the answer was different?

Did you think that the correct answer choice was other than D?  You can view this video for a deeper discussion of why A, B, C, and E were not the correct answer choices.

Learn to correctly answer basic science knowledge questions and prepare to take your USMLE Step 1 exam.  The MedSmarter roadmap will make your journey to becoming a practicing physician in the United States as painless as possible.

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