Outline the determinants of venous return to the heart.

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College Answer

Answers should have included a description of the need for a pressure gradient for flow and a discussion on right atrial pressure, mean systemic filling pressure and resistance to blood flow. The discussion of each of these factors included definitions, normal values, factors affecting them and the direction of change on venous return. Diagrams were not essential, but their use assisted some candidates in explaining the effects of RAP on venous return.