Slides in this set
External structure of the mammalian heart
Superior vena cava
(from head) Left atrium
Inferior vena cava
(from rest of body)
Name Artery or vein? Receives blood Oxygenated or deoxygenated Takes blood to
Vena cavae Vein Body Deoxygenated RA
Pulmonary artery Artery RV Deoxygenated Lungs
Pulmonary veins Vein Lungs Oxygenated LA
Aorta Artery LV Oxygenated Body
*Coronary arteries deliver oxygenated blood directly to the heart itself…read more
Internal structure of the mammalian heart
Septum: Wall of tissue that separates the R and L sides of the heart so that deoxygenated and oxygenated blood are separate.
Tricuspid SL (pulmonic) Pulmonary
Tissues Vena cavae RA RV Lungs
valve valve artery
Pulmonary AV valve SL (aortic)
Lungs LA LV Aorta Body
vein (bicuspid) valve
The LV wall is thickest because it has to provide enough force to sufficiently pressurise blood to the
heart. The LV is thinner because it only has to pump blood a shorter distance to the lungs. The atria
have the thinnest walls because blood only has to travel to the ventricles.…read more
Cardiac cycle: The repeating sequence of events that make up one heart beat
Stage Atrial pressure Ventricular AV SL valves Blood flow
Atrial systole; High Low Open Shut atria ventricles
Ventricular Low High Shut Open ventricles arteries
Diastole Low Low Shut Shut veins atria…read more
Electrical control of the heart
Cardiac muscle is myogenic: it can contract and relax autonomously without input from nerves
The Sino-atrial node (SAN) a small patch of myogenic muscle in the RA wall contracts and initiates a wave of depolarization.
The action potential travels across atrial walls
A band of non conducting collagen prevents direct passage to the ventricles.
The action potential must travel through the atrioventricular node (AVN). There is a 0.1s delay at the the AVN to ensure the atria have emptied.
The actions potentials travel down the Bundle of His along the septum to the apex of the ventricles.
Purkinje fibres conduct waves of depolarization to contract the vesicles from the apex.…read more
ECG: Trace showing the electrical activity of the heart in
a cycle. Measured by placing electrodes on the skin.
P wave = atrial depolarization
QRS complex = ventricular depolarization
T wave = ventricular repolarization
NB: The ECG reading proceeds pressure
increase because the depolarization wave
Fibrillation (uncoordinated ventricles)
AV block: prolonged P-S region indicates failure
of stimulation to ventricles after atrial
Heart rate from an ECG (bpm): 60/time taken for 1 heart beat…read more