Hello! I am Joseph Alpert, Professor of Medicine
at the University of Arizona in the United
States and also the Editor-in-Chief of the
American Journal of Medicine.
I am going to be presenting a series of 14
lectures which are on “Introduction to Cardiology”.
I hope none of you believe that you will be
expert cardiologists at the end of listening
to these 14, but I do believe that you will
have a much greater understanding of cardiology.
You will understand the various factors that
lead to heart disease, you will understand
how we make the diagnosis of heart disease
and you will understand the various therapies
that we have at our hands… in our hands,
that we can use in order to help the patient
with heart disease.
So, let’s start with something very basic.
Let’s start with the anatomy of the heart
and the blood vessels. Now, many of you, of
course, receive hearts when you receive letters
from friends or close, intimate relations.
At Valentine’s Day, we see the heart, of
course, the… the heart shape. Actually,
the heart doesn’t look anything like that.
That’s just a symbol for the heart. In fact,
what you see here in this little diagram is
a little bit more what the heart looks like.
The heart is conical in shape with a rounded
point, not a sharp point and of course, it
is a pump. It’s a muscle pump that keeps
the circulation continuously going in a circle.
So, what happens, of course, I think everybody
knows is, the heart pumps the blood out full
of oxygen and nutrients to the cells throughout
the body and then waste products are given
to the blood, the blood returns to the…
to the lungs, a deep blue and is then re-oxygenated,
gets oxygen again and pumped out to the body.
There is a continuous circle going on of the
Here is a diagram that shows you how the heart
lies in the chest. Notice that it’s not
directly in the center of the chest. In fact,
it’s slightly to the left. In this view,
of course, it looks like its to the right,
but if you were standing behind this person
where the heart bulges out, would be the left.
And you can see four points are marked on
this skeleton with… with the heart drawn
behind it, behind the ribs, of course, and
the breast bone which we call the sternum.
You can see that there are four heart valves
and the points that are… that are marked
here are the places where we listen with our
stethoscope when we want to hear that particular
valve. So… and we are going to go over the
names of the valves and where they are located,
but you just, for introduction, you can see
that they are the aortic valve, the pulmonic
valve, the tricuspid valve and the mitral