Cardiac Anatomy

By understanding the cardiac anatomy you will gain a greater understanding of your overall condition and thereby be able to stick to any health plan.

The heart is a wonder of engineering beating 60 beats per minute; beating over 2 billion times in a lifetime, all carefully orchestrated by the electrical system . The heart delivers nutrients and oxygen to every cell of the body, it gives us life. The heart is a collection of specialized cells called cardiac cells. The cells have a unique ability to contract on their own when separated. They amazingly organize themselves to beat together by a master node called the SA node (sinoatrial). The contraction starts there (in the atrium) and spreads throughout the heart. When the signal gets to a cardiac cell it signifies it to contract in a wave like form.

Then the signal gets channeled through a node located between the top part of the heart ( Atrium ) and the bottom part of the heart ( Ventricles ) called the AV node (Atrialventricular). It continues to spread until the apex of the heart. It is easier to picture it if you think of the heart as an inverted cone the base at the top and the tip (apex) at the bottom.

Each part of the heart has its own heart rate. The SA node beats at a rate of 60 – 100 bpm (beats per minute). The AV node beats at about 45-60 bpm. The bottom part of the heart beats at around 35 bpm. If there is no signal from the atria to contract like the signal becomes blocked somewhere these are the rates the heart normally beats at.

The heart's main function is to deliver tiny packets of nourishment to the body. The packets are found in the blood, the red blood cells. The RBC's carry oxygen to the body to carry out every cell function without it the body would die. So in order to live there has to be some sort of delivery service that is up to the job. In steps the heart! It takes courage to step up to this big job it takes alot of...lets say heart.

The circulatory system is a closed loop like a circle, its hard to pick a starting point on the circle, but when describing the circulation, in cardiac anatomy, its best to start at the beginning of the cardiac cycle: Right Atrium. The right atrium pushes the blood into the right ventricle then into the pulmonary artery to the left atrium which in turn squeezes the blood into the left ventricle and finally out to the body. Separating the chambers are a series of one way valves called heart valves . These valves prevent back flow of blood, like doors. If eyes are the window to the soul then surely the cardiac valves are the doorways.

Since the heart has an overwhelming job to keep the food being delivered, it cannot forget to feed itself. When the blood leaves the heart it gets delivered through the coronary arteries and feeds itself. In medicine when a problem happens in one place in the body it usually happens somewhere else too. So if you have circulation problems in the legs you can almost bet you have it your heart too. Below you can study the cardiac anatomy of the heart.

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