- As we saw in the last post, the heart is a four-chambered organ consisting of right and left halves. Two of the chambers, the left and right atria, are entry-points into the heart, while the other two chambers, the left and right ventricles, are responsible for contractions that send the blood through the circulation.
The circulation is split into the pulmonary and systemic circulation. The right ventricle's role is to pump deoxygenated blood into the pulmonary circulation through the pulmonary artery. The left ventricle's role is to pump now oxygenated blood into the systemic circulation through the aorta.
The average human heart, beating at 72 beats per minute, will beat approximately 2.5 billion times during an average 66 year lifespan. Sometime the heart can beat fast, this is called Tachycardia. It happen when you make exercise or are in danger.
The heartbeat is made up of two parts;.
Systole is the contraction of the heart chambers, which drives blood out of the chambers.
Diastole is the period of time when the heart relaxes after contraction.
In the figura you have the cardiac cycle :
- Atrial diastole. The atria were in diastole and blood from the superior and inferior vena cava (rigth side) and pulmonary veins (left side) flows into the atria slowly to fill them and begin the cycle.
- Atrial systole. This phase involves the contraction of the 2 atria, pushing the blood into the respective ventricles. There is no back flow of blood due to the presence of the atrioventricular (AV) valves ( bicuspid valve – left and tricuspid valve -right) . The bicuspid valve is supported by tendons which look rather like the strings of a parachute.
- Ventricular systole. The thick muscular walls of the ventricles contract.. This begins alongside the end of auricular diastole. The pressure on the blood in the ventricles increases. The atrioventricular valves close rapidly to prevent the backward flow of blood into the auricles.
As the pressure in the ventricle increases, the semilunar valves are opened and blood enters the arteries. From the right ventricle, the deoxygenated blood enters the pulmonary artery. From the left ventricle, the oxygenated blood enters the aorta, to be taken to all body parts.
- Ventricular diastole.Ventricular systole is followed by ventricular diastole. The atria are already in diastole, so all the chambers of the heart are in diastole. As the pressure in the ventricles decreases to prevent the backward flow of blood, the semilunar valves close rapidly.
The sound of the heart valves shutting causes the heart sounds, or a heartbeat. The closing of the mitral and tricuspid valves (known together as the atrioventricular valves) at the beginning of ventricular systole cause the first part of the "lub-dub" sound made by the heart as it beats. The second part of the "lub-dub" is caused by the closure of the aortic and pulmonic valves at the end of ventricular systole. As the left ventricle empties, its pressure falls below the pressure in the aorta, and the aortic valve closes. Similarly, as the pressure in the right ventricle falls below the pressure in the pulmonary artery, the pulmonic valve closes.
Here you have some videos to get a better knowledge of the heartbeat.