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Analysis of arterial pressure regulation by equating the "renal output curve" with the "salt and water intake curve." The equilibrium point describes the level to which the arterial pressure will be regulated. (That small portion of the salt and water intake that is lost from the body through nonrenal routes is ignored in this and similar figures in this chapter.)

where the two curves intersect, which is called the equilibrium point. Now, let us see what happens if the arterial pressure becomes some value that is different from that at the equilibrium point.

First, assume that the arterial pressure rises to 150 mm Hg. At this level, the graph shows that renal output of water and salt is about three times as great as the intake. Therefore, the body loses fluid, the blood volume decreases, and the arterial pressure decreases. Furthermore, this "negative balance" of fluid will not cease until the pressure falls all the way back exactly to the equilibrium level. Indeed, even when the arterial pressure is only 1 mm Hg greater than the equilibrium level, there still is slightly more loss of water and salt than intake, so that the pressure continues to fall that last 1 mm Hg until the pressure eventually returns exactly to the equilibrium point.

If the arterial pressure falls below the equilibrium point, the intake of water and salt is greater than the output. Therefore, body fluid volume increases, blood volume increases, and the arterial pressure rises until once again it returns exactly to the equilibrium point. This return of the arterial pressure always exactly back to the equilibrium point is the infinite feedback gain principle for control of arterial pressure by the renal-body fluid mechanism.

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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