Describe renal blood flow and its regulation (80% of marks). Outline the impact of adrenoreceptor agonists on renal blood flow (20% of marks).
This question was well answered by most candidates. The description of renal flow involves a brief comment of the anatomy including interlobar, arcuate, interlobular arteries, then afferent and efferent arterioles – 2 sets of capillaries and then corresponding veins and better answers made the distinction better cortical and medullary flow and went on to detail the consequence of this. Renal blood flow is autoregulated and most candidates describe well the various mechanisms around myogenic and tubuloglomerular feedback. Additional marks were gained with by discussing renal vascular resistance and how this may be varied. The impact of adrenoreceptor agonists is varied but generally sympathomimetic agents will vasoconstrict and therefore increase renovascular resistance and result in a decrease renal blood flow. The relative impact on afferent vs efferent arteriolar tone may alter glomerular perfusion pressure.