Open Access, Open Data, and Open Educational Resources

New Open Textbook: Cardiovascular Pathophysiology for Pre-Clinical Students by Andrew Binks

by Anita Walz, posted on April 7, 2022

Cover image of Cardiovascular Pathophysiology for Pre-Clinical Students by Andrew Binks
Cover: Kindred Grey

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Virginia Tech Publishing are pleased to announce publication of a new open textbook by Andrew Binks, titled Cardiovascular Pathophysiology for Pre-Clinical Students.

Cardiovascular Pathophysiology for Pre-Clinical Students ( is an undergraduate medical-level resource for foundational knowledge of common cardiovascular diseases, disorders and pathologies. This text is designed for a course pre-clinical undergraduate medical curriculum and it is aligned to USMLE(r) (United States Medical Licensing Examination) content guidelines. The text is meant to provide the essential information from these content areas in a concise format that would allow learner preparation to engage in an active classroom. Clinical correlates and additional application of content is intended to be provided in the classroom experience. The text assumes that the students will have an understanding of basic cardiovascular physiology that will be helpful to understand the content presented here. This resource should be assistive to the learner later in medical school and for exam preparation given the material is presented in a succinct manner, with a focus on high-yield concepts.

The 70-page text was created specifically for use by pre-clinical students at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and was based on faculty experience and peer review to guide development and hone important topics.

Instructors reviewing, adopting, or adapting parts or the whole of the text are requested to register their interest at:

Figure of the heart with a circle around the mitral valve. Figure shows the left ventricle on the left and the left atrium on the right, separated by a vertical dotted line. A curved line on the top of the dotted line and an unconnected arched line on the bottom of the dotted line, with bodies in the left atrium. Arrow between the two lines labeled non-coaptation distance. Arrow from dotted line to top of arched line labeled prolapsing death. Arrow from center of arched line to left atrium labeled billowing area. Text below the figure states: unknown etiology (connective tissue disorders), myxomatous degeneration - floppy valve leaflet, fibrosis from continually striking other structures, and mid systolic click (and late - systolic murmur).
Figure 4.2 Mitral valve prolapse by Kindred Grey CC BY 4.0

Table of Contents

1. Arrhythmias
2. Heart Failure
3. Hypertension
4. Valvular Disease
5. Heart Sounds and Murmurs
6. Congenital Heart Disease
7. Ischemic Heart Disease

Free Access to Cardiovascular Pathophysiology for Pre-Clinical Students

The book is listed in the Open Textbook Library, OER Commons, VIVA Open, and Merlot.

Acknowledgments and The Series

This work is the third in a five-volume series of open textbooks for pre-clinical medical education by Renee LeClair and Andrew Binks. Publication is expected by mid-2022. The series is supported in part by funding and/or in-kind contributions from VIVA’s Open Course Grants, Virginia Tech’s Open Education Initiative, Virginia Tech Publishing, and LibreTexts.

Other titles in this series include:   
Cell Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry for Pre-Clinical Students (LeClair)
Neuroscience for Pre-Clinical Students (LeClair)
Pulmonary Pathophysiology for Pre-Clinical Students (Binks) (forthcoming)
Pulmonary Physiology for Pre-Clinical Students (Binks) (forthcoming)

Read more about this series in the March 4th, 2022 VT news story by Ann Brown “Open medical textbook series offers curriculum flexibility for faculty and cost savings for students
To request email notification of new releases in this series please register at Tech open textbook titles are hosted in VTechWorks and listed as Virginia Tech Open Education Initiative projects

Share your original work 
Instructors and subject matter experts interested in and sharing their original course materials relevant to pre-clinical education are requested to join the instructor portal at

The peer-reviewed work is made possible in part by financial and in-kind contributions from the Open Education Initiative at Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech Publishing, VIVA – the Virtual Library of Virginia, and LibreTexts. Virginia Tech open textbook titles are hosted in VTechWorks and listed as Virginia Tech Open Education Initiative projects

Peer reviewers
Lauren Kennedy-Metz, Harvard Medical School
Anonymous, Research Professor

Managing editor: Anita Walz
Graphics and cover design: Kindred Grey

Suggested citation
Binks, Andrew., (2022). Cardiovascular Pathophysiology for Pre-Clinical Students, Roanoke: Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Licensed with CC BY NC-SA 4.0.

Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike logo

Unless otherwise noted, this work is released under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY NC SA) 4.0 license which allows adaptation and redistribution with attribution for uses which are not primarily commercial. See the license terms and best practices for attribution for additional information.

About the Author

Dr. Andrew Binks is a cardiopulmonary physiologist who gained his BSc (Hons) in Physiological Sciences at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, then a MSc in Human and Applied Physiology from King’s College, London. He returned to Newcastle to do his PhD and study the underlying physiological mechanisms of dyspnea, the cardinal symptom of cardiopulmonary disease. He continued investigating dyspnea at Harvard School of Public Health as a postdoctoral fellow and then as a research scientist. After seven years at Harvard, Andrew took his first faculty position at the University of New England where he taught cardiovascular and pulmonary physiology to health profession and medical students. He continued to teach medical students their heart and lung physiology after moving to the University of South Carolina’s Medical School in Greenville where he also directed the school’s heart and lung pathophysiology courses. Andrew currently teaches heart and lung physiology and pathophysiology at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, directs the heart and lung pathophysiology course and has also served as the departmental director of faculty development.

In his two decades of teaching medical physiology, Andrew has regularly drawn upon his dyspnea research experience to generate an active, clinically focused approach to medical education. This book is part of that approach and supports students preparing for class with the basic information with the intention to apply and contextualize that information in a guided case-based classroom experience.

Andrew has published numerous peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters about dyspnea and about contemporary medical education. He has also given keynote presentations, faculty workshops and international webinars to promote effective medical education for the modern adult learner.

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