Structure of the cardiovascular System. What you do!. Copy the text with a white background. Those with a pink background are for information only, and notes on these will be found in your monograph. Components of the CVS.
Arteries (and arterioles) carry blood away from the heart. The largest arteries e.g. the Aorta, have thick elastic walls which can stretch to accommodate the surge of blood after each contraction of the heart. Arteries branch many times, forming smaller and smaller vessels, the smallest of which are arterioles.
Contraction of the smooth muscle lining the walls of the arterioles allows them to open or close to varying degrees to adjust blood flow to different parts of the body e.g. during vasodilation and vasoconstriction.
Veins (and venules) carry blood back to the heart. Blood flows out of the capillaries into the smallest of the veins – venules – which in turn reunite to form larger veins. The walls of veins are thinner than those of arteries as blood pressure is far lower as it travels through veins. Consequently, veins have valves to prevent the back flow of blood.
Oxygenated blood leaves the heart from the left ventricle via the aorta, moves through arteries to arterioles to capillaries to venules and returns to the right atrium by way of veins.
Capillaries are tiny vessels where the exchange of substances with the tissue occurs. They also connect the arterioles to the venules. Their walls are only one cell thick, allowing nutrients and waste to diffuse through with ease.
Capillaries form extensive branching networks (capillary beds) throughout the body tissues, but only certain beds are open at any one time. This allows the ‘shunting’ of the blood from one region to another.
This is understandable when we consider that that an individual could have between 25,000 to 60,000 miles of capillaries!
Cardiac Output the
At rest: the HR = 72bpm
SV = 70ml
i.e. CO = 72 x 70
= 5040 ml/min
= 5 litres/min
Cardiac Output varies between individuals and depends on their physical fitness and level of activity. For example, the heart of a highly trained athlete can pump 30-35 l/min while most non-athletes can only achieve a max of 20 litres.
As work load increases, HR increases to a maximal value of about 180 – 200 bpm (220 minus age), while SV increases proportionally less (70-150ml). The increase in cardiac output with exercise is achieved principally by increasing the heart rate.
The force exerted by the blood against the walls of the blood vessels is known as blood pressure
Both systolic and diastolic BP can be measured by an inflatible instrument called a sphygmomanometer which is wrapped around the upper arm.