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Circuitry of the CV system

a. Left & Right sides of the heart
i. Left side: Systemic circulation
1. Contains left heart, systemic arteries, capillaries,
2. LV pumps blood to all organs of the body except
the lungs.
ii. Right side: Pulmonary circulation
1. Contains right heart, pulmonary arteries,
capillaries, and veins
2. RV pumps blood to the lungs
iii. Left and Right heart function in series so that blood is
pumped sequentially from left heart to the systemic
circulation, to the right heart, to the pulmonary
circulation, and the back to left heart.
iv. What is cardiac output?
1. Rate at which blood is pumped from either
ventricle. Because the two sides of the heart
operate in series, the cardiac output of the left
ventricle equals the cardiac output of the right
ventricle in steady state (think of current in series
v. What is venous return?
1. The rate at which blood is returned to the atria
from the veins is called the venous return.
Because the left heart and right heart are in
series, venous return to the left heart equals
venous return to the right heart in the steady
vi. What rates are equal in steady state?
1. Cardiac output from RV and LV are equal
2. Venous return to RA and LA are equal
3. Cardiac output from the heart equals venous
return to the heart.
vii. What percentage of the blood is pumped to various
1. Renal 25%
2. GI 25%
3. Skeletal muscle 25%
4. Cerebral 15%
5. Coronary 5%
6. Skin 5%
b. Blood Vessels
i. What are the functions of the blood vessels besides
serving as pipes?

1. They participate actively in the regulation of blood

flow to the organs.
2. When resistance of the blood vessels, particularly
of the arterioles, is altered, blood flow to that
organ is altered.
c. Circuitry
i. How is the cardiac output distributed among various
1. Total cardiac output of the left heart is distributed
among the organ systems via sets of parallel
arteries. (Total resistance is constant, so the
current [blood volume reaching organs] changes)
ii. When exercising (or other activities), how does the
cardiac output reaching skeletal muscle alter and what
regulates it?
1. Percentage of cardiac output reaching skeletal
muscle increases. There are 3 mechanisms that
regulate this:
a. Cardiac output remains constant, but the
blood flow is redistributed among the organ
systems by the selective alteration of
arteriolar resistance. (So, blood flow to one
organ is increased at the expense of blood
flow to other organs)
b. Cardiac output increases or decreases, but
th percentage of distribution of blood flow
among the organ systems is kept constant.
c. Combination of the above 2 mechanisms.
2. 3rd mechanism is used for strenuous exercise.
iii. Valves:
1. Mitral valve between LA and LV
2. Aortic valve semilunar valve of the left heart
3. Pulmonic valve semilunar valve of the right
4. Tricuspid valve between RA and RV