Cardiovascular System The Cardiovascular System Objectives

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Cardiovascular System

  • The Cardiovascular System


  • Objectives
  • After studying this chapter you will be able to:
  • Name the parts of the cardiovascular system and discuss the function of each part.
  • Define combining forms used in building words that relate to the cardiovascular system.
  • Identify the meaning of related abbreviations.
  • Name the common diagnoses, clinical procedures, and laboratory tests used in treating the cardiovascular system.

Objectives Part 2

  • Objectives
  • Cont'd
  • List and define the major pathological conditions of the cardiovascular system.
  • Explain the meaning of surgical terms related to the cardiovascular system.
  • Recognize common pharmacological agents used in treating the cardiovascular system.

The Heart

  • The Heart
  • Pumps blood through the blood vessels to all body cells.
  • Is covered by a protective sac called the pericardium which is divided into two layers the visceral and parietal pericardium.
  • Is divided into right and left sides by the septum.
  • Each side consists of an atria and a ventricle.

Layers of the Heart

  • Structure and Function
  • Layers of the Heart
  • Inside the pericardium, the heart has three layers of tissue.
  • Epicardium (outermost layer)
  • Myocardium (middle layer of muscular tissue)
  • Endocardium (inner layer)
  • myocardium
  • epicardium
  • endocardium

Heart Chambers

  • Structure and Function
  • Heart Chambers
  • Right and left atria are the upper chambers of the heart.
  • Right and left ventricles are the lower chambers of the heart.
  • Fibers in the ventricles (Purkinje fibers) cause the ventricles to contract.
  • Blood flows through the heart in only one direction regulated by valves.

Arteries and Veins

  • Structure and Function
  • Arteries
  • Carry blood away from the heart.
  • Carry blood toward the heart.
  • V
  • e
  • i
  • n
  • s

Valves of the Heart

  • Structure and Function
  • Valves of the Heart
  • Atrioventricular Valves
  • Semilunar Valves
  • Control blood flow within the heart
  • Prevent the backflow of blood into the heart
  • Cross Sectional Top View of Heart
  • Bicuspid valve (mitral)
  • Tricuspid valve
  • Pulmonary valve
  • Aortic valve

Coronary Circulation

  • Structure and Function
  • Coronary Circulation
  • Circulation of blood within the heart muscle by the coronary arteries.
  • Coronary arteries branch off of the aorta, which is the largest artery in the body.
  • Coronary arteries encircle the heart to supply the heart muscle with about 100 gallons of blood daily.
  • The heart requires more oxygen than any other organ in the body except the brain.

Pulmonary Circulation

  • Structure and Function
  • Pulmonary Circulation
  • Circulation of blood between the heart and lungs.
  • Pulmonary arteries are the only arteries to carry blood low in oxygen.
  • Pulmonary veins are the only veins to carry oxygen rich blood.

Systemic Circulation

  • Structure and Function
  • Systemic Circulation
  • Flow of blood between the heart and the cells of the entire body.
  • Blood travels through the body in a surge as a result of the heart contractions.
  • Blood vessels become smaller in diameter as the blood leaves the heart.
  • artery
  • arteriole
  • capillary
  • venule
  • vein
  • Remember arteries leave the heart and veins return to the heart. Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels and they serve as a transfer station between the arteries and veins.

Blood Pressure

  • Structure and Function
  • Blood Pressure
  • Measures the force of the blood surging against the walls of the arteries.
  • Systole
  • Contraction phase of the heart
  • Diastole
  • Relaxation phase of the heart

Conduction System

  • Structure and Function
  • Conduction System
  • Purkinje Fibers
  • Sinoatrial node (Pacemaker)
  • Atrioventricular node
  • Bundle of His
  • Right and Left Bundle Branches

Conduction System Part 2

  • Structure and Function
  • Conduction System
  • The heart’s pacemaker causes regular contracting of the myocardium resulting in a regular heartbeat or pulse.
  • Contraction Phases
  • Polarization (resting)
  • Depolarization (contracting)
  • Repolarization (recharging)

Conduction System Part 3

  • Structure and Function
  • Conduction System
  • Factors affecting the heart rate:
  • Health status
  • Physical activity
  • Emotions
  • During one cardiac cycle the heart contracts and relaxes.
  • Cardiac Cycle = 1 contraction + 1 relaxation

Fetal Circulation

  • Structure and Function
  • Fetal Circulation
  • Structures unique to the fetus:
  • Foramen ovale
  • Ductus arteriosus
  • Ductus venosus
  • Note the umbilical cord contains two arteries and one vein.

Combining Forms & Abbreviations [angi(o)]

  • Combining Form
  • Meaning
  • angi (o)
  • aort (o)
  • arteri (o)
  • ather (o)
  • atri (o)
  • cardi (o)
  • hemangi (o)
  • blood vessel
  • artery
  • fatty matter
  • atrium
  • heart
  • blood vessel
  • aorta
  • Combining Forms and Abbreviations

Combining Forms & Abbreviations [pericardi(o)]

  • Combining Form
  • Meaning
  • pericardi (o)
  • phleb (o)
  • sphygm (o)
  • thromb (o)
  • vas (o)
  • ven (o)
  • pericardium
  • vein
  • pulse
  • blood clot
  • blood vessel
  • vein
  • Combining Forms and Abbreviations

Combining Forms & Abrbeviations [AcG]

  • Abbreviation
  • Meaning
  • AcG
  • AF
  • AS
  • ASD
  • ASHD
  • AV
  • accelerator globulin
  • atrial fibrillation
  • aortic stenosis
  • atrial septal defect
  • arteriosclerotic heart disease
  • atrioventricular
  • Combining Forms and Abbreviations

Combining Forms & Abbreviations [BP]

  • Abbreviation
  • Meaning
  • BP
  • CABG
  • CAD
  • cath
  • CCU
  • CHD
  • CHF
  • blood pressure
  • coronary artery bypass graft
  • coronary artery disease
  • catheter
  • coronary care unit
  • coronary heart disease
  • congestive heart failure
  • Combining Forms and Abbreviations

Combining Forms & Abbreviations [CO]

  • Abbreviation
  • Meaning
  • CO
  • CPK
  • CPR
  • CVA
  • CVD
  • DSA
  • DVT
  • cardiac output
  • creatine phosphokinase
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • cerebrovascular accident
  • cardiovascular disease
  • digital subtraction angiography
  • deep venous thrombosis
  • Combining Forms and Abbreviations

Diagnostic, Procedural & Laboratory Tests

  • Cardiology is the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and the physician who specializes in heart conditions is called a cardiologist.
  • Auscultation may reveal the following abnormal heart sounds:
  • Murmur
  • Bruit
  • Gallop

Common Diagnostic Tests

  • Diagnostic, Procedural and
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Common Diagnostic Tests
  • Exercise tolerance test (ETT)
  • Patients exercise on a treadmill and the technician monitors the heart rate and respiratory rate.
  • Electrocardiography
  • Produces an electrocardiogram which measures the amount of electricity that flows through the heart.
  • Electrodes placed on the skin at specific points detect the heart’s electrical impulses.

Tests Involving X-Rays

  • Diagnostic, Procedural and
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Tests involving x-rays
  • Angiocardiogram
  • -injection of a dye followed by x-rays of the heart and the heart’s large blood vessels
  • Others Tests
  • angiogram
  • arteriogram
  • aortogram
  • venogram(phlebogram)
  • ventriculogram

Ultrasound Tests

  • Diagnostic, Procedural and
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Ultrasound tests produce images by using sound waves.
  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Measures blood flow in certain blood vessels
  • Echocardiography
  • Records sound waves to show the structure and movement of the heart

Other Noninvasive Tests

  • Diagnostic, Procedural and
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Other Noninvasive Tests
  • Cardiac scan
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Multiple-gated acquisition (MUGA) angiography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Other procedures require insertion of an actual device such as a catheter into a vein or artery, and the device is guided to the heart as with cardiac catheterizations.

Laboratory Tests

  • Diagnostic, Procedural and
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Laboratory Tests
  • LDL
  • HDL
  • The flow of blood in the arteries is affected by the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides contained in the blood.
  • High-density lipoproteins actually remove lipids from the arteries and protect from the formation of blockages.
  • Low-density lipoproteins and very low-density lipoproteins cause cholesterol to form blockages in the arteries.

Laboratory Test Part 2

  • Diagnostic, Procedural and
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Also help to diagnose myocardial infarction.
  • Troponin T and troponin I are proteins found in the heart and tests for these can diagnose a myocardial infarction faster than most other lab tests.
  • Cardiac enzymes also called serum enzyme tests measure the amount of enzymes released into the blood by the damaged heart muscle during a myocardial infarction.
  • -CPK (creatine phosphokinase)
  • -LDH (lactate dehydrogenase)
  • -GOT (glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase)


  • Pathology
  • Risk Factors to Developing Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
  • poor diet
  • smoking
  • Abnormal rhythms are called arrhythmias.
  • Bradycardia
  • Tachycardia
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Flutter
  • Murmur
  • Gallop
  • Premature atrial contractions (PAC)
  • Premature ventricular contractions (PVC)
  • Heart Rhythm

Blood Pressure

  • Pathology
  • Blood Pressure abnormalities can damage the heart and other body systems.
  • Hypertension (too high)
  • Hypotension (too low)
  • Essential hypertension occurs without any specific cause.
  • Secondary hypertension has a known cause, for example, high-salt intake.

Diseases of the Blood Vessels

  • Pathology
  • Diseases of the Blood Vessels
  • plaque
  • atheroma
  • thrombus
  • embolus
  • phlebitis
  • varicose
  • veins

Coronary Artery Disease

  • Pathology
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Refers to any condition that reduces the nourishment the heart receives from the blood flowing through the arteries of the heart, such as:
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Pulmonary artery stenosis
  • Angina Pectoris

General Heart & Lung Diseases

  • Pathology
  • General Heart and Lung Diseases
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Disruption of blood flow to the heart muscle; also called heart attack.
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Also known as asystole, is the sudden stopping of the heart.
  • Occurs when the heart is unable to pump the necessary amount of blood.

Specific Inflammatory Heart Conditions

  • Pathology
  • Specific Inflammatory Conditions of the Heart
  • endocarditis
  • myocarditis
  • bacterial endocarditis
  • pericarditis
  • Other Conditions
  • cardiomyopathy
  • intracardiac tumor

Congenital Heart Conditions

  • Pathology
  • Valve Conditions
  • Aortic regurgitation
  • Mitral insufficiency
  • Mitral valve prolapse
  • Tricuspid stenosis
  • Valvulitis
  • Rheumatic heart disease
  • Congenital Heart Conditions
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Septal defect
  • Tetralogy of Fallot

Surgical Terms

  • Surgical Terms
  • The goal of most cardiovascular surgery is to improve blood flow to all body cells.


  • Surgical Terms
  • Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is a surgical procedure in which a balloon catheter is inserted into a blocked blood vessel to increase the blood flow of that vessel.
  • Narrowed artery with balloon catheter positioned.
  • Inflated balloon presses against arterial wall.

Cardiac Catheterization

  • Surgical Terms
  • Cardiac Catheterization is the most common type of operation performed in the United States.
  • Other procedures involving catheters:
  • Balloon valvuloplasty
  • Used to open narrowed cardiac valve openings.
  • Coronary angioplasty
  • Used to open a blood vessel.
  • Angioscopy

Coronary Bypass Surgery

  • Surgical Terms
  • Some conditions require the creation of a bypass around blockages.
  • Coronary bypass surgery
  • A vein from another part of the body is often used as a graft to bypass an arterial blockage.
  • Saphenous vein and the mammary arteries are commonly used as grafts for this procedure.
  • Fontan’s operation
  • Creates a bypass from the right atrium to the main pulmonary artery.

Removal & Replacement Surgery

  • Surgical Terms
  • Surgical removal and replacement procedures
  • Heart transplant
  • Thrombectomy
  • Embolectomy
  • Atherectomy
  • Valve replacement
  • Endarterectomy
  • Arteriotomy
  • Valvotomy
  • Venipuncture
  • Surgical reconstruction and repair procedures
  • Valvuloplasty
  • Anastomosis


  • Pharmacology
  • Drug therapy for the cardiovascular system generally treats the following conditions:
  • angina
  • heart attack
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • congestive heart failure
  • rhythm disorders
  • vascular problems


  • Pharmacology
  • Antianginals
  • Relieve pain and prevent attacks of angina
  • Three Categories of Drugs:
  • nitrates
  • (nitroglycerine)
  • beta blockers
  • (atenolol)
  • calcium channel blockers
  • (nifedipine)


  • Pharmacology
  • High blood pressure may require treatment with one or more drugs.
  • Medications for:
  • vasodilators
  • diuretics
  • angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors

Congestive Heart Failure

  • Pharmacology
  • Congestive heart failure is treated with medications that increase myocardial contractions. In certain situations the blood vessels may need to be narrowed as well.
  • Medications for:
  • ACE inhibitors
  • diuretics
  • cardiotonics
  • vasoconstrictors

Rhythm Disorders

  • Pharmacology
  • Rhythm disorders are treated with medications that normalize the heart rate by affecting the nervous system that controls the heart rate.
  • Medications for:
  • beta blockers
  • calcium channel blockers

Pharmacology – Other Medications

  • Pharmacology
  • Other Medications
  • Lipid-lowering drugs help the body excrete unwanted cholesterol.
  • Anticoagulants and antiplatelet medications inhibit the ability of the blood to clot.
  • Medications used for vascular problems may include drugs that decrease the thickness of the blood or drugs that increase the amount of blood the heart is able to pump.

Apply Your Knowledge

  • All arteries except one carry oxygenated blood
  • and all veins except one carry deoxygenated blood.
  • The ( ) artery carries deoxygenated blood.
  • The ( ) vein carries oxygenated blood.
  • pulmonary
  • pulmonary
  • Apply Your Knowledge

Apply Your Knowledge Part 2

  • In fetal circulation, blood flows from the right atrium through the foramen ovale into the left atrium. What would happen if the foramen ovale remained open permanently after birth?
  • Answer:
  • This would result in a mixing of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood, which would cause an impairment in the delivery of oxygenated blood to the body cells.
  • Apply Your Knowledge

Apply Your Knowledge Part 3

  • Henry, age 56, arrives at a local emergency room complaining of chest “tightness”. Which of the following tests might the physician order to evaluate his symptoms?
  • A. Holter monitor
  • B. electrocardiography
  • C. doppler ultrasound
  • Answer: B. electrocardiography
  • Apply Your Knowledge

Apply Your Knowledge Part 4

  • In mitral valve prolapse, which of the following would you expect to occur based on your knowledge of the normal flow of blood through the heart?
  • A. Blood would become congested in the lower legs
  • B. Blood would become congested in the vena cava
  • C. Blood would become congested in the lungs.
  • Answer: C. Blood would become congested in the lungs
  • Apply Your Knowledge

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