Heart anatomy and Physiology
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GENERAL ANATOMY OF THE HEART
|Heart anatomy and physiology diagram|
The human heart is primarily a shell. There are four cavities, or open spaces, inside the heart that fill with blood. Two of these cavities are called atria. The other two are called ventricles. The two atria form the curved top of the heart. The ventricles meet at the bottom of the heart to form a pointed base, which points toward the left side of your chest. The left ventricle contracts most forcefully, so you can best feel your heart pumping on the left side of your chest.
Heart structure and function
The left side of the heart houses one atrium and one ventricle. The right side of the heart houses the others. A wall, called the septum, separates the right and left sides of the heart. A valve connects each atrium to the ventricle below it. Themitral valve connects the left atrium with the left ventricle. The tricuspid valveconnects the right atrium with the right ventricle.
The top of the heart connects to a few large blood vessels. The largest of these is the aorta, or main artery, which carries nutrient-rich blood away from the heart. Another important vessel is the pulmonary artery, which connects the heart with the lungs as part of the pulmonary circulation system. The two largest veins that carry blood into the heart are the superior vena cava and the inferior vena cava. They are called "vena cava" because they are the "heart's veins." The superior is located near the top of the heart. The inferior is located beneath the superior.
The heart's structure makes it an efficient, never-ceasing pump. From the moment of development through the moment of death, the heart pumps. The heart, therefore, has to be strong. The average heart's muscle, called cardiac muscle, contracts and relaxes about 70 to 80 times per minute without you ever having to think about it. As the cardiac muscle contracts it pushes blood through the chambers and into the vessels. Nerves connected to the heart regulate the speed with which the muscle contracts. When you run, your heart pumps more quickly. When you sleep, your heart pumps more slowly.
Considering how much work it has to do, the heart is surprisingly small. The average adult heart is about the size of a clenched fist and weighs about 11 ounces (310 grams). Located in the middle of the chest behind the breastbone, between the lungs, the heart rests in a moistened chamber called the pericardial cavity which is surrounded by the ribcage. The diaphragm, a tough layer of muscle, lies below. As a result, the heart is well protected.
Heart Physiology: How heart pumps blood
The heart pumps blood to the lungs and to all the body's tissues by a sequence of highly organized contractions of its four chambers.
|Heart Blood Flow Diagram|
For the heart to function properly, the four chambers must beat in an organized manner. This is governed by the electrical impulse. A chamber of the heart contracts when an electrical impulse or signal moves across it. Such a signal starts in a small bundle of highly specialized cells located in the right atrium — the sinoatrial node (SA node), also called the sinus node. A discharge from this natural "pacemaker" causes the heart to beat. This pacemaker generates electrical impulses at a given rate, but emotional reactions and hormonal factors can affect its rate of discharge. This allows the heart rate to respond to varying demands.
Pulmonary circulation is the movement of blood from the heart, to the lungs, and back to the heart again.
You can use a stethoscope to hear pulmonary circulation. The two sounds you hear, "lub" and "dub," are the ventricles contracting and the valves closing.
Heart Circulatory System: How heart beats, works and pumps blood in the body
SUPERIOR & INFERIOR VENACAVA ---->RIGHT ATRIUM ---->TRICUSPID VALVE ---->RIGHT VENTRICLE ---->PULMONARY VALVE ---->PULMONARY ARTERY ---->LUNGS----> PULMONARY VEIN ---->LEFT ATRIUM ---->MITRAL VALVE ---->LEFT VENTRICLE ---->AORTIC VALVE ---->AORTA ---->TISSUES OF THE BODY.
Internal circulation of the heart is maintained by the network of coronary arteries. Three arteries feed the heart muscle or myocardium. The left anterior descending coronary artery, the left circumflex coronary artery and the right coronary artery.
The nerve structure of the heart is important as arrythmias and therapies used to treat them frequently invoke these terms. Clusters of nerve cells that give rise to the hearts electrical impulse are called the sinus or SA node, and AV node. The impulse then travels in the likewise manner.
SA node ---->Atrial muscle ---->AV node ---->Common bundle ---->Bundle branches ---->Purkinje fibers ----> Ventricular muscle.
This sequence is represented in an ECG recording
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