Of The Heart

Heart Valves
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About the heart

The atria are then activated. The electrical stimulus travels down through the conduction pathways and causes the heart's ventricles to contract and pump out blood. The 2 upper chambers of the heart atria are stimulated first and contract for a short period of time before the 2 lower chambers of the heart ventricles. The electrical impulse travels from the sinus node to the atrioventricular node also called AV node. There, impulses are slowed down for a very short period, then continue down the conduction pathway via the bundle of His into the ventricles.

The bundle of His divides into right and left pathways, called bundle branches, to stimulate the right and left ventricles. Normally at rest, as the electrical impulse moves through the heart, the heart contracts about 60 to times a minute, depending on a person's age. Each contraction of the ventricles represents one heartbeat.

The atria contract a fraction of a second before the ventricles so their blood empties into the ventricles before the ventricles contract.

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More minor forms of congenital heart disease may remain undetected for many years and only reveal themselves in adult life e. Heart disease is diagnosed by the taking of a medical history , a cardiac examination , and further investigations, including blood tests , echocardiograms , ECGs and imaging. Other invasive procedures such as cardiac catheterisation can also play a role. The cardiac examination includes inspection, feeling the chest with the hands palpation and listening with a stethoscope auscultation.

A person's pulse is taken, usually at the radial artery near the wrist, in order to assess for the rhythm and strength of the pulse. The blood pressure is taken, using either a manual or automatic sphygmomanometer or using a more invasive measurement from within the artery. Any elevation of the jugular venous pulse is noted.

Heart and Circulatory System

A person's chest is felt for any transmitted vibrations from the heart, and then listened to with a stethoscope. Typically, healthy hearts have only two audible heart sounds , called S1 and S2. The first heart sound S1, is the sound created by the closing of the atrioventricular valves during ventricular contraction and is normally described as "lub".

Further information

The heart and blood vessels constitute the cardiovascular (circulatory) system. The heart pumps the blood to the lungs so it can pick up oxygen and then pumps . The tricuspid valve regulates blood flow between the right atrium and right ventricle. The pulmonary valve controls blood flow from the right ventricle into the pulmonary arteries, which carry blood to your lungs to pick up oxygen. The mitral valve lets oxygen-rich blood from your.

The second heart sound, S2, is the sound of the semilunar valves closing during ventricular diastole and is described as "dub". A third heart sound , S3 usually indicates an increase in ventricular blood volume. A fourth heart sound S4 is referred to as an atrial gallop and is produced by the sound of blood being forced into a stiff ventricle. The combined presence of S3 and S4 give a quadruple gallop. Heart murmurs are abnormal heart sounds which can be either related to disease or benign, and there are several kinds. Murmurs are graded by volume, from 1 the quietest , to 6 the loudest , and evaluated by their relationship to the heart sounds, position in the cardiac cycle, and additional features such as their radiation to other sites, changes with a person's position, the frequency of the sound as determined by the side of the stethoscope by which they are heard, and site at which they are heard loudest.

A different type of sound, a pericardial friction rub can be heard in cases of pericarditis where the inflamed membranes can rub together. Blood tests play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of many cardiovascular conditions.

Troponin is a sensitive biomarker for a heart with insufficient blood supply. It is released 4—6 hours after injury, and usually peaks at about 12—24 hours. A test for brain natriuretic peptide BNP can be used to evaluate for the presence of heart failure, and rises when there is increased demand on the left ventricle.


These tests are considered biomarkers because they are highly specific for cardiac disease. Other blood tests are often taken to help understand a person's general health and risk factors that may contribute to heart disease. These often include a full blood count investigating for anaemia , and basic metabolic panel that may reveal any disturbances in electrolytes. A coagulation screen is often required to ensure that the right level of anticoagulation is given. Fasting lipids and fasting blood glucose or an HbA1c level are often ordered to evaluate a person's cholesterol and diabetes status, respectively.

Using surface electrodes on the body, it is possible to record the electrical activity of the heart. An ECG is a bedside test and involves the placement of ten leads on the body. This produces a "12 lead" ECG three extra leads are calculated mathematically, and one lead is a ground. There are five prominent features on the ECG: the P wave atrial depolarisation , the QRS complex ventricular depolarisation [h] and the T wave ventricular repolarisation.

A downward deflection on the ECG implies cells are becoming more positive in charge "depolarising" in the direction of that lead, whereas an upward inflection implies cells are becoming more negative "repolarising" in the direction of the lead. This depends on the position of the lead, so if a wave of depolarising moved from left to right, a lead on the left would show a negative deflection, and a lead on the right would show a positive deflection.

The ECG is a useful tool in detecting rhythm disturbances and in detecting insufficient blood supply to the heart. Testing when exercising can be used to provoke an abnormality, or an ECG can be worn for a longer period such as a hour Holter monitor if a suspected rhythm abnormality is not present at the time of assessment.

Several imaging methods can be used to assess the anatomy and function of the heart, including ultrasound echocardiography , angiography , CT scans , MRI and PET. An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart used to measure the heart's function, assess for valve disease, and look for any abnormalities. Echocardiography can be conducted by a probe on the chest "transthoracic" or by a probe in the esophagus "transoesophageal". A typical echocardiography report will include information about the width of the valves noting any stenosis , whether there is any backflow of blood regurgitation and information about the blood volumes at the end of systole and diastole, including an ejection fraction , which describes how much blood is ejected from the left and right ventricles after systole.

Ejection fraction can then be obtained by dividing the volume ejected by the heart stroke volume by the volume of the filled heart end-diastolic volume. This cardiac stress test involves either direct exercise, or where this is not possible, injection of a drug such as dobutamine. CT scans, chest X-rays and other forms of imaging can help evaluate the heart's size, evaluate for signs of pulmonary oedema , and indicate whether there is fluid around the heart.

They are also useful for evaluating the aorta, the major blood vessel which leaves the heart. Diseases affecting the heart can be treated by a variety of methods including lifestyle modification, drug treatment, and surgery. Narrowings of the coronary arteries ischaemic heart disease are treated to relieve symptoms of chest pain caused by a partially narrowed artery angina pectoris , to minimise heart muscle damage when an artery is completely occluded myocardial infarction , or to prevent a myocardial infarction from occurring. Medications to improve angina symptoms include nitroglycerin , beta blockers , and calcium channel blockers, while preventative treatments include antiplatelets such as aspirin and statins , lifestyle measures such as stopping smoking and weight loss, and treatment of risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

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This cycle repeats over and over again. Environment contributes to heart disease risk. The two upper chambers of your heart are called atria , and the two lower chambers are called ventricles. And it came into the right atrium from a giant vessel up top called the superior vena cava. The blood then moves into your left ventricle, which contracts and sends blood out of your heart through the aorta to feed your cells and tissues. At the top of your aorta, arteries branch off to carry blood to your head and arms. Interventional cardiologist are trained to do catheterizations.

In addition to using medications, narrowed heart arteries can be treated by expanding the narrowings or redirecting the flow of blood to bypass an obstruction. This may be performed using a percutaneous coronary intervention , during which narrowings can be expanded by passing small balloon-tipped wires into the coronary arteries, inflating the balloon to expand the narrowing, and sometimes leaving behind a metal scaffold known as a stent to keep the artery open.

If the narrowings in coronary arteries are unsuitable for treatment with a percutaneous coronary intervention, open surgery may be required. A coronary artery bypass graft can be performed, whereby a blood vessel from another part of the body the saphenous vein , radial artery , or internal mammary artery is used to redirect blood from a point before the narrowing typically the aorta to a point beyond the obstruction.

Diseased heart valves that have become abnormally narrow or abnormally leaky may require surgery. This is traditionally performed as an open surgical procedure to replace the damaged heart valve with a tissue or metallic prosthetic valve. In some circumstances, the tricuspid or mitral valves can be repaired surgically , avoiding the need for a valve replacement. Heart valves can also be treated percutaneously, using techniques that share many similarities with percutaneous coronary intervention. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement is increasingly used for patients consider very high risk for open valve replacement.

Abnormal heart rhythms arrhythmias can be treated using antiarrhythmic drugs. These may work by manipulating the flow of electrolytes across the cell membrane such as calcium channel blockers , sodium channel blockers , amiodarone , or digoxin , or modify the autonomic nervous system's effect on the heart beta blockers and atropine. In some arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation which increase the risk of stroke, this risk can be reduced using anticoagulants such as warfarin or novel oral anticoagualants.

If medications fail to control an arrhythmia, another treatment option may be catheter ablation. In these procedures, wires are passed from a vein or artery in the leg to the heart to find the abnormal area of tissue that is causing the arrhythmia. The abnormal tissue can be intentionally damaged, or ablated, by heating or freezing to prevent further heart rhythm disturbances. Whilst the majority of arrhythmias can be treated using minimally invasive catheter techniques, some arrhythmias particularly atrial fibrillation can also be treated using open or thoracoscopic surgery, either at the time of other cardiac surgery or as a standalone procedure.

A cardioversion , whereby an electric shock is used to stun the heart out of an abnormal rhythm, may also be used. Cardiac devices in the form of pacemakers or implantable defibrillators may also be required to treat arrhythmias. Pacemakers, comprising a small battery powered generator implanted under the skin and one or more leads that extend to the heart, are most commonly used to treat abnormally slow heart rhythms.

These devices monitor the heart, and if dangerous heart racing is detected can automatically deliver a shock to restore the heart to a normal rhythm. Implantable defibrillators are most commonly used in patients with heart failure , cardiomyopathies , or inherited arrhythmia syndromes. As well as addressing the underlying cause for a patient's heart failure most commonly ischaemic heart disease or hypertension , the mainstay of heart failure treatment is with medication.

These include drugs to prevent fluid from accumulating in the lungs by increasing the amount of urine a patient produces diuretics , and drugs that attempt to preserve the pumping function of the heart beta blockers , ACE inhibitors and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists. In some patients with heart failure, a specialised pacemaker known as cardiac resynchronisation therapy can be used to improve the heart's pumping efficiency. In very severe cases of heart failure, a small pump called a ventricular assist device may be implanted which supplements the heart's own pumping ability.

In the most severe cases, a cardiac transplant may be considered.

ncof.co.uk/creando-la-experiencia-la-consciencia.php Humans have known about the heart since ancient times, although its precise function and anatomy were not clearly understood. He also discovered the heart valves. The Greek physician Galen 2nd century CE knew blood vessels carried blood and identified venous dark red and arterial brighter and thinner blood, each with distinct and separate functions.

Heart Valves

These ideas went unchallenged for almost a thousand years. The earliest descriptions of the coronary and pulmonary circulation systems can be found in the Commentary on Anatomy in Avicenna's Canon , published in by Ibn al-Nafis. In Europe, the teachings of Galen continued to dominate the academic community and his doctrines were adopted as the official canon of the Church.

Andreas Vesalius questioned some of Galen's beliefs of the heart in De humani corporis fabrica , but his magnum opus was interpreted as a challenge to the authorities and he was subjected to a number of attacks. A breakthrough in understanding the flow of blood through the heart and body came with the publication of De Motu Cordis by the English physician William Harvey. Harvey's book completely describes the systemic circulation and the mechanical force of the heart, leading to an overhaul of the Galenic doctrines.

Ernest Starling — was an important English physiologist who also studied the heart. Although they worked largely independently, their combined efforts and similar conclusions have been recognized in the name " Frank—Starling mechanism ".

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Tawara's discovery of the atrioventricular node prompted Arthur Keith and Martin Flack to look for similar structures in the heart, leading to their discovery of the sinoatrial node several months later. These structures form the anatomical basis of the electrocardiogram , whose inventor, Willem Einthoven , was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in This marked an important milestone in cardiac surgery , capturing the attention of both the medical profession and the world at large. However, long-term survival rates of patients were initially very low.

Louis Washkansky , the first recipient of a donated heart, died 18 days after the operation while other patients did not survive for more than a few weeks.