Cardiovascular Disease

By Tyrees Mills

Cardiovascular Disease

The essential components of the human cardiovascular system are the heart, blood ,and blood vessels.[5] It includes the pulmonary circulation, a "loop" through the lungs where blood is oxygenated; and the systemic circulation, a "loop" through the rest of the body to provide oxygenated blood. The systemic circulation can also be seen to function in two parts–amacrocirculation and a microcirculation. An average adult contains five to six quarts (roughly 4.7 to 5.7 liters) of blood, accounting for approximately 7% of their total body weight. Blood consists of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Also, the digestive system works with the circulatory system to provide the nutrients the system needs to keep the heart pumping.

The heart pumps oxygenated blood to the body and deoxygenated blood to the lungs. In the human heart there is one atrium and one ventricle for each circulation, and with both a systemic and a pulmonary circulation there are four chambers in total: left atrium, left ventricle, right atrium and right ventricle. The right atrium is the upper chamber of the right side of the heart. The blood that is returned to the right atrium is deoxygenated (poor in oxygen) and passed into the right ventricle to be pumped through the pulmonary artery to the lungs for re-oxygenation and removal of carbon dioxide. The left atrium receives newly oxygenated blood from the lungs as well as the pulmonary vein which is passed into the strong left ventricle to be pumped through the aorta to the different organs of the body.

The coronary circulation system provides a blood supply to the heart muscle itself. The coronary circulation begins near the origin of the aorta by two arteries: the right coronary artery and the left coronary artery. After nourishing the heart muscle, blood returns through the coronary veins into the coronary sinus and from this one into the right atrium. Backflow of blood through its opening during atrial systole is prevented by the Thebesian valve. The smallest cardiac veins drain directly into the heart chambers.


The circulatory system of the lungs is the portion of the cardiovascular system in which oxygen-depleted blood is pumped away from the heart, via the pulmonary artery, to the lungs and returned, oxygenated, to the heart via the pulmonary vein.

Oxygen deprived blood from the superior and inferior vena cava enters the right atrium of the heart and flows through the tricuspid valve (right atrioventricular valve) into the right ventricle, from which it is then pumped through the pulmonary semilunar valve into the pulmonary artery to the lungs. Gas exchange occurs in the lungs, wherebyCO2 is released from the blood, and oxygen is absorbed. The pulmonary vein returns the now oxygen-rich blood to the left atrium.

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