heart

the heart

What does the heart look like? How does it pump blood? The heart is divided into four chambers ( Figure 1.1), or spaces: the left and right atria, and the left and right ventricles. An atrium (singular for atria) is one of the two small, thin-walled chambers on the top of the heart where the blood first enters. A ventricle is one of the two muscular V-shaped chambers that pump blood out of the heart. You can remember they are called ventricles because they are shaped like a "V." The atria receive the blood, and the ventricles pump the blood out of the heart. Each of the four chambers of the heart has a specific job. The right atrium receives oxygen-poor blood from the body. The right ventricle pumps oxygen-poor blood toward the lungs, where it receives oxygen. The left atrium receives oxygen-rich blood from the lungs. The left ventricle pumps oxygen-rich blood out of the heart to the rest of the body.

textbook_image

blood flow through the heart

Blood flows through the heart in two separate loops. You can think of them as a left side loop and a right side loop. The right side of the heart collects oxygen-poor blood from the body and pumps it into the lungs, where it releases carbon dioxide and picks up oxygen. (Recall that carbon dioxide is a waste product that must be removed. It is removed when we exhale.) The left side carries the oxygen-rich blood back from the lungs into the left side of the heart, which then pumps the oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. The blood delivers oxygen to the cells of the body, where it is needed for cellular respiration, and returns to the heart oxygen-poor. To move blood through the heart, the cardiac muscle needs to contract in an organized way. Blood first enters the atria ( Figure 1.2). When the atria contract, blood is pushed into the ventricles. After the ventricles fill with blood, they contract, and blood is pushed out of the heart. The heart is mainly composed of cardiac muscle. These muscle cells contract in unison, causing the heart itself to contract and generating enough force to push the blood out. So how is the blood kept from flowing back on itself? Valves ( Figure 1.2) in the heart keep the blood flowing in one direction. The valves do this by opening and closing in one direction only. Blood only moves forward through the heart. The valves stop the blood from flowing backward. There are four valves of the heart. The two atrioventricular (AV) valves stop blood from moving from the ventricles to the atria. The two semilunar (SL) valves are found in the arteries leaving the heart, and they prevent blood from flowing back from the arteries into the ventricles. Why does a heart beat? The lub-dub sound of the heartbeat is caused by the closing of the AV valves ("lub") and SL valves ("dub") after blood has passed through them.

instructional diagrams

No diagram descriptions associated with this lesson

questions

the ventricles are more muscular than the atria.

-->  a. true

b. false

valves in the heart keep the blood flowing in one direction.

-->  a. true

b. false

what is the role of the semilunar valves?

-->  a) to stop blood from moving from the arteries into the ventricles.

b) to stop blood from moving from the ventricles to the atria.

c) to stop blood from moving from the atria to the ventricles.

d) to stop blood from moving from the artria to the veins.

what happens to the blood in the lungs?

a) oxygen-poor blood releases oxygen and picks up carbon dioxide.

-->  b) oxygen-poor blood releases carbon dioxide and picks up oxygen.

c) oxygen-rich blood releases oxygen and picks up carbon dioxide.

d) oxygen-rich blood releases carbon dioxide and picks up oxygen.

what part of the heart receives oxygen-poor blood from the body?

a) the left ventricle receives oxygen-poor blood from the body.

b) the left atrium receives oxygen-poor blood from the body.

-->  c) the right atrium receives oxygen-poor blood from the body.

d) the right ventricle receives oxygen-poor blood from the body.

what do you think would happen if a heart had a leaky av valve?

-->  a) blood would flow back from the ventricles to the atria.

b) blood would flow back from the atria to the ventricles

c) blood would flow back from the veins to the atria.

d) blood would flow back from the arteries to the ventricles.

what do you think would happen if muscle cells contracted independently?

a) only some of the blood would be pushed out.

b) blood would flow backwards into the heart.

-->  c) there would not be enough force to push the blood out.

d) all of the above would be consequences.

diagram questions

No diagram questions associated with this lesson