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Review: Introduction to the Cardiovascular System

Here is what we have learned from Introduction to the Cardiovascular System:

  • The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, which is a muscular pumping device, and a closed system of vessels called arteries, veins, and capillaries.
  • The vital role of the cardiovascular system in maintaining homeostasis depends on the continuous and controlled movement of blood through the thousands of miles of capillaries that permeate every tissue and reach every cell in the body.
  • The heart is a muscular pump that provides the force necessary to circulate the blood to all the tissues in the body.
  • Three layers of the heart are: the epicardium, the myocardium, and the endocardium.
  • The four chambers of the heart are: the right atrium, the right ventricle, the left atrium, and the left ventricle.
  • Two types of valves of the heart are the atrioventricular valves and semilunar valves.
  • Blood flows from the right atrium to the right ventricle and then is pumped to the lungs to receive oxygen. From the lungs, the blood flows to the left atrium, then to the left ventricle. From there it is pumped to the systemic circulation.
  • Specialized cardiac muscle cells that make up the conduction system of the heart coordinate contraction of the chambers.
  • The pulmonary vessels transport blood from the right ventricle to the lungs and back to the left atrium.
  • The systemic vessels carry blood from the left ventricle to the tissues in all parts of the body and then returns the blood to the right atrium.
  • Substances pass through the capillary wall by diffusion, filtration, and osmosis.


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