Physiology of the Heart

by Joseph Alpert, MD

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    Welcome again to “Introduction to Cardiology”. This is Part 2: “The Physiology of the Heart”. We spoke in the first part about the anatomy of the heart and the cardiovascular system, now we are going to speak about its function. So, let’s start by following the heart through its contraction phase. What you see here on the next three slides show the entire cycle that results in contraction and relaxation and filling of the heart. What we see here in numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 is we see atrial systole on the right atrium and the left atrium, the tricuspid and mitral valves open, blood flows into the ventricles, and you can see the ventricle swelling and filling. What you see now in number 6 through 10 is the ventricles begin to contract, the thin walled right ventricle and the thicker walled left ventricle. The tricuspid and mitral valves close, and the pulmonary valve and the aortic valve open as the two ventricles contract. And then in the final sequence, they begin to relax again and the tricuspid and mitral valves open as blood flows into the ventricles to start another cycle. And here, we see in this little motion diagram, the heart contracting. You can see a little green pattern, that’s the electrical wave, passing down, starting at the right atrium, passing to the left atrium, down through the ventricular septum and out into the ventricular walls. Can you see that the mitral and tricuspid valves open during diastole and then close and then the pulmonary and aortic valve are open during systole when the ventricles contract? Let’s talk a little bit about ventricular systole. Ventricular systole is particularly important because that is, in fact, the pumping time of the heart. Ventricular systole lasts for 0.3 seconds,...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Physiology of the Heart by Joseph Alpert, MD is from the course Introduction to the Cardiac System. It contains the following chapters:

    • Electrical Conduction System
    • Phases and waveforms
    • Cardiac Output
    • Blood Oxygen

    Quiz for lecture

    Test your knowledge with our quiz for lecture Physiology of the Heart.

    1. a wave
    2. x descent
    3. v wave
    4. y descent
    1. 5.6 Liters/min
    2. 4.8 Liters/min
    3. 7.8 Liters/min
    4. 3.5 Liters/min
    1. Heart rate and stroke volume
    2. Stroke volume and systolic blood pressure
    3. Diastolic blood pressure and pulse pressure
    4. Heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure
    5. Pulse pressure and heart rate
    1. Lung volume
    2. Contractility
    3. Afterload
    4. Preload

    Author of lecture Physiology of the Heart

     Joseph Alpert, MD

    Joseph Alpert, MD

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    Fantastic lecture …
    By Jon W. on 23. May 2016 for Physiology of the Heart

    Fantastic lecture and related images. This is starting to make sense to me for the first time.

    superb!! very useful
    By Pascal B. on 14. May 2016 for Physiology of the Heart

    superb!! very useful

    highly informative, clear explanation …
    By Eva H. on 28. April 2016 for Physiology of the Heart

    highly informative, clear explanation. excellent review!

    Excellent thank you.
    By Meredith O. on 18. April 2016 for Physiology of the Heart

    Excellent thank you.

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