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Lecture note on Gross Anatomy II 2 nd Semester/B.V.Sc. & A.H.

Branch of Anatomy dealing with organs of circulation. Heart and vessels are circulatory apparatus of body.

THE VASCULAR system is divided for descriptive

purposes into (a) the blood vascular system, which
comprises the four chambered pump, heart and blood-
vessels for the circulation of the blood; and (b) the lymph
vascular system, consisting of lymph glands and
lymphatic vessels, through which a colorless fluid, the
lymph, circulates. A lymph vessels or lymphatic carry
tissue fluid or lymph to large veins. It must be noted,
however, that the two systems communicate with each
other and are intimately associated developmentally.
The heart is the central organ of the blood vascular system,
and consists of a hollow muscle; by its contraction the
blood is pumped to all parts of the body through a
complicated series of tubes, termed arteries. The arteries undergo enormous ramification in their course
throughout the body, and end in minute vessels, called arterioles, which in their turn open into a close-
meshed network of microscopic vessels, termed capillaries. After the blood has passed through the
capillaries it is collected into a series of larger vessels, called venules, venacava and veins, by which it is
returned to the heart. The passage of the blood through the heart and blood vessels constitutes what is termed
the circulation of the blood.

Aorta ► artery ► arterioles ► capillaries ► venules ► veins ► venacava

(heart ventricle) (heart atria)

The Thoracic Cavity

The heart and lungs are situated in the thorax, the walls of which afford them protection.. The heart lies
between the two lungs, and is enclosed within a fibrous bag, the pericardium, while each lung is invested
by a serous membrane, the pleura.

The capacity of the cavity of the thorax does not correspond with its apparent size externally, because
(1) the space enclosed by the lower ribs is occupied by some of the abdominal viscera; and (2) the
cavity extends above the anterior parts of the first ribs into the neck. The size of the thoracic cavity is
constantly varying during life with the movements of collapsed state of the lungs as seen when the thorax
is opened in the dead body, it would appear as if the viscera only partly filled the cavity, but during life
there is no vacant space, that which is seen after death being filled up by the expanded lungs.

The Pericardium
The pericaruium is a conical fibro-serous sac, in which the heart and the roots of the great vessels are
contained. It is placed above the sternum and the cartilages of the third. fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh
ribs of the left side, in the mediastinal cavity.

In front, it is separated from the anterior wall of the thorax, in the greater part of its extent, by
the lungs and pleurae;

1 Dr. Rebanta Kumar Bhattar

Lecture note on Gross Anatomy II 2 nd Semester/B.V.Sc. & A.H.

Behind, it rests upon the bronchi, the

oesophagus, the descending thoracic aorta, and the
posterior part of the mediastinal surface of each lung.
Laterally, it is covered by the pleurae, and is in
relation with the mediastinal surfaces of the lung; the
phrenic nerve, with its accompanying vessels,
descends between the pericardium and pleura on
either side.

Structure of the pericardium- although the

pericardium is usually described as a single sac, an
examination of its structure shows that it consists
essentially of two sacs intimately connected-with one
another, but totally different in structure. The outer sac,
known as the fibrous pericardium, consists of FIG. Schematic illustration of the
fibrous tissue. The inner sac, or serous pericardium.
pericardium, is a delicate membrane which lies 1, Heart; 2, great vessels; 3, visceral
within the fibrous sac and lines its walls; it is pericardium (epicar-dium); 4, pericardial
composed of a single layer of flattened cavity (exaggerated in size); 5, parietal
pericardium; 6, connective tissue layer of
cells resting on loose connective tissue. the parietal pericardium; 7, mediastinal
The heart invaginates the wall of the pleura; 8, sternopericardial ligament.
serous sac from above and behind, and
practically obliterates its cavity, the space being
merely a potential one. The parietal and visceral
layer sac separated by small space, known as
pericardial sac/space, which is occupied by
serous fluid known as liquor pericardii. Fluid
keeps apposed surface moist and smooth, helping
for lubrication
The fibrous pericardium forms a flask
shaped bag, the neck of which is closed by its
fusion with the external coats of the great
vessels, while its base is attached to the central
tendon and to the muscular fibers of the left
side of the diaphragm. In some of the lower
mammals the base is either completely separated
from the diaphragm or joined to it by some loose
areolar tissue; in animal much of its diaphragmatic
attachment consists of loose fibrous tissue which Fig 1- Posterior wall of the pericardial sac, showing
can be readily broken down, but over a small the lines of reflection of the serous pericardium on the
area the central tendon of the diaphragm and great vessels.
the pericardium are completely
fused(phrenicopericaridial ligament). Above, the fibrous pericardium not only blends with the
external coats of the great vessels, but is continuous with the pretracheal layer of the deep cervical
fascia. By means of these upper and lower connections it is securely anchored within the thoracic
cavity. It is also attached to the posterior surface of the sternum by the superior and .inferior
sternopericardiac ligaments; the upper passing to the manubriun, and the lower to the xiphoid process.
The vessels receiving fibrous prolongations from this membrane are: the aorta, the superior
vena cava the right and left pulmonary arteries, and the four pulmonary veins The inferior vena
cava enters the pericardium through the central tendon of the diaphragm, and receives no covering

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Lecture note on Gross Anatomy II 2 nd Semester/B.V.Sc. & A.H.

from the fibrous layer.

At the base line it is pierced by ascending aorta, cranial and caudal venacava, two
pulmonary arteries and four pulmonary veins. Pericardiurn keeps the heart in position and prevents

The serous pericardium is, as already stated, a closed sac which lines the fibrous
pericardium and is invaginated by the heart; it therefore consists of a visceral and a parietal portion. The
visceral portion, or epicardium, covers the heart and the great vessels, and from the latter is continuous
with the parietal layer which lines the fibrous pericardium. The portion which covers the vessels is
arranged in the form of two tubes. The aorta and pulmonary artery are enclosed in one tube, the
arterial mesocardium. The superior and inferior venaecavae and the four pulmonary veins are
enclosed in a second tube, the venous mesocardium, the attachment of which to the parietal layer
presents the shape of an inverted U. The cul de sac enclosed between the limbs of the U lies behind the
left atrium and is known as the oblique sinus, while the passage between the venous and arterial
mesocardia— i.e.between the aorta and pulmonary artery in front and the atria behind is termed the
transverse sinus.

The Ligament of the Left Vena Cava—Between the left pulmonary artery and subjacent pulmonary vein
is a triangular fold of the serous pericardium; it is known as the ligament of the left vena cava (vestigial
fold of Marshall}. It is formed by the duplicature of the serous layer over the remnant of the lower part of
the left superior venacava (duct of cuvier), which becomes obliterated during fetal life, and remains as a
fibrous band stretching from the highest left intercostal vein to the left atrium, where it is continuous
with a small vein, the vein of the left atrium (oblique vein of Marshall}, which opens into the coronary
The arteries derived from the descending thoracic aorta.
The nerves of the pericardium are derived from the vagus and phrenic nerves, and the sympathetic

3 Dr. Rebanta Kumar Bhattar

Lecture note on Gross Anatomy II 2 nd Semester/B.V.Sc. & A.H.

The heart is the central organ that by rhythmic contraction pumps blood continuously through
the blood vessel
. The farm animals’ heart is divided by septa into
right and left halves, and each half is further divided into
two cavities, an upper termed the atrium and a lower
the ventricle. The heart therefore consist of four
chambers, two, the right atrium and right ventricle,
forming the right half and two, the left atrium and left
ventricle the left half.
The size if the heart varies considerably among
species and also among individuals; as a rule it is relatively
larger in smaller species and in individuals. as a rough guide
it may be said to provide about 0.75 percent of the body
weight, less in lethargic animals, more in renowned
athletes, racing horses and greyhounds. The construction,
the forms and the general position of the heart are similar in
all mammals.

Position of heart
The heart is cone shaped organ situated at the
ventral half of the middle mediastinum, the partition that
FIG. Section of the heart exposing the four
separates the right and left pleural cavities. It is placed chambers.
asymmetrically within the thorax with the larger part
1, Cranial vena cava; 2, terminal sulcus;
(60%) lying to the left of the median plane, with the base 3, right atrium; 4, interatrial septum; 5, left
directed upwards and apex downwards. The base is dorsal atrium; 6, left atrioventricular valve; 7,
and reaches approximately to the horizontal (dorsal) plane right atrioventricular valve; 8, right
that bisects the first rib; in some species it is tilted in ventricle; 9, interventricular septum; 10, left
varying degree to face craniodorsally. The apex is placed ventricle; 11, sinuatrial node; 12,
atrioventricular node; 13, 14, right and left
close to the sternum, opposite the sixth costal cartilage limbs of atrioventricular bundle.
(chondrosternal joint) and is very close to the diaphragm.
The long axis that joins the center of the base to the apex
thus slopes caudoventrally, with some deviation to the left impose by the skewed orientation. The
projection of the hear on the chest wall extends between the third and sixth rib is placed about 10 to
12 cm below the spines.; it follows that much of ht heart is under cover of the forelimb, a
considerable handicap to clinical examination, especially in larger species.

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Lecture note on Gross Anatomy II 2 nd Semester/B.V.Sc. & A.H.

Fig. Schematic drawings to show the position of the canine heart, based on radiographs. A, Left lateral view:
the caudoventrally sloping long ax\s (straight line) of the heart is indicated. B, Dorsoventral view showing the
asymmetrical position of the heart.

Although generally conical, the

heart displays some lateral compression to
conform to the similar compression of the
thorax of most quadrupeds. This better
defines right and left surfaces that face
toward the corresponding lungs, which are
shaped to fit. The cardiac notch in the
ventral border of each lung allows the
heart a restricted contact with the chest
wall, which is normally greater on the left
side because of the asymmetrical position.
Each lateral surface is also crossed by the
corresponding phrenic nerve. The cranial
aspect is extensively related to the thymus
(in the young animal) while the caudal
surface faces toward the diaphragm and
may be indirectly related through this to cranial abdominal organs —a point of importance
in certain species.
General Anatomy of the Heart
The base of the heart is formed by the thin-walled atria, which are clearly separated from
the ventricles by an encircling coronary groove that contains the main trunks of the
coronary vessels within a concealment of fat. The right and left atria combine in a
continuous U-shaped formation that embraces the origin of the aorta; the formation is
interrupted craniosinistrally where each atrium ends in a free blind appendage, the auricle,
which overlaps the origin of the pulmonary trunk. The margins of the atria are often

The ventricles provide a much larger part of the heart that is also much firmer because of
the greater thickness of the walls. Although the ventricles merge externally, their separate
extents are defined by shallow grooves that descend toward the apex. The paraconal (left)
groove runs close to the cranial aspect of the heart; the subsinuosal (right) groove runs
close to the caudal aspect; both convey substantial vessels that follow the edges of the
interventricular septum and together they reveal the asymmetrical disposition of the

5 Dr. Rebanta Kumar Bhattar

Lecture note on Gross Anatomy II 2 nd Semester/B.V.Sc. & A.H.

ventricles. The right chamber lies as much cranially as to the right of the left one.
Additional branches of the coronary vessels extend some distance over the ventricular
surface in a less constant pattern but, these apart, the external surface is smooth and
featureless. Although it is not apparent externally, a fibrous skeleton separates the atrial
from the ventricular muscle mass.

The Right Atrium

This chamber lies mainly on the right although the auricular cul-de-sac extends to the
cranial face of the pulmonary trunk to appear on the left side. The greater part forms a
chamber (sinus venarum) into which the principal systemic veins discharge. The caudal
vena cava enters the caudodorsal part of this chamber, above the opening of the much
smaller vein (coronary sinus) that drains the heart itself. The cranial vena cava opens
craniodorsally at the terminal crest. An azygous vein enters variously; when a right
azygous is present (as in the horse, dog, and ruminants) it enters dorsally, either by joining
the cranial vena cava or discharging between the caval openings; when a left azygous is
present (as in ruminants and the pig), it joins the coronary sinus close to its termination
after winding around the caudal aspect of the base from the left side.

FIG. Left ( A ) and right (B) views of the bovine heart.

I. Right ventricle; 2. left ventricle; 3. left auricle; 4, paraconal interventricular branch of left coronary
artery; 4'. circumflex branch of left coronary artery; 4", subsinuosal interventricular branch of left coronary
artery; 5. pulmonary trunk; 6. right auricle; 7. aorta; 8. ligamentum arteriosum; 9. cranial vena cava; 10, 10',
left and right pulmonary arteries; I I . 11', left and right pulmonary veins; 12. left agygous vein; 13. right
agygous vein; 14, caudal vena cava: 15, right coronary artery.

The interior of the atrium is smooth between the vein entrances, which are unobstructed by
valves. Its roof dips between the caval openings, being indented by the passage of
pulmonary veins returning across the right atrium to enter the left atrium. The ridge
(intervenous tubercle) produced by the indentation prevents confrontation between the
caval streams by deflecting both ventrally, toward the atrioventricular ostium that occupies
much of the floor. A depressed membranous area (fossa ovalis) of the septal wall is present
caudal to the tubercle; it corresponds to the foramen ovale of fetal life. In sharp contrast, the
interior of the auricle is made irregular by a series of ridges (musculi pectinati) that branch
from the terminal crest that marks the boundary between the auricle and the main com-
The Left Atrium

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Lecture note on Gross Anatomy II 2 nd Semester/B.V.Sc. & A.H.

This has a generally similar form. It receives the pulmonary veins, which enter, separately
or in groups, at two or three sites: craniosinistral, craniodextral, and in some species,
caudal. The septal wall may present a scar marking the position of the valve of the fetal
foramen ovale. The auricle resembles that of the right side.
The Right Ventricle
This chamber, crescentic in transverse section,
is wrapped around the right and cranial aspects
of the left ventricle. It is incompletely divided
by a stout muscular beam (supraventricular
crest) that projects from the roof cranial to the
atrioventricular ostium. The main part of the
chamber lies below this large elongated opening
while the extension to the left, the conns
arteriosus, leads directly to the much smaller
circular exit into the pulmonary trunk.

The right atrioventricular (tricuspid) valve is

composed of three flaps or cusps that attach to
a fibrous ring that encircles the opening. The
cusps are fused at their attachment but part
toward the center of the opening where their
free margins are thick and irregular, especially
in later life. Each cusp is joined by fibrous Fig. Overview of the interior of the right
strands (chordae tendineae) that descend into atrium and right ventricle of the horse.
the ventricular cavity to insert on projections 1, Right atrium; I', right auricle; 2. right ventricle;
3. right atrioven-tricular valve; 4, caudal vena
from the walls (papillary muscles). Generally cava; 5, intervcnous tubercle; 6. cranial vena
three (2 on Left) of these muscles are present, cava; 6'. right azygous vein; 7, coronary sinus; 8,
and the terminal crest; 9. fossa ovalis.
tendineae are so arranged that they connect each cusp to
two muscles, each muscle to two cusps. The arrangement
prevents eversion of the cusps into the atrium during
ventricular contraction (systole). The lumen of the
ventricle is crossed by a thin band of muscle (trabecula
septomarginalis) that passes from the septal to the outer
wall. It provides a short cut for a bundle of the
conducting tissue, so ensuring a more nearly si-
multaneous contraction of all parts of the ventricle. A
further modification of the muscle is provided by the
many irregular ridges (trabeculae carneae) that give the
lower part of the wall a spongy appearance. These are
confined to the "inflow" part of the cavity and are thought
Fig. Transverse section through the to reduce blood turbulence.
ventricles. Notice the different Semilunar valves (aortic and pulmonary) separate the ventricles
.thicknesses of the walls of the right
and left ventricles. from the great vessels and prevent aortic and pulmonic
1, Most cranial point; 2. right insufficiency respectively (prevents blood from returning into the
ventricle; 3, interventricular respective ventricle when venticle relax. The aortic and pulmonary
septum; 4. left ventricle.
valves are each composed of 3 cusps. Aortic semilunar valve
is located at junction of the left venticle and aorta. similarly, pulmonary semilunar valve is
located at junction of the pulmonary artery and right ventricle.
The opening into the pulmonary trunk lies at a more dorsal level than the atrioventricular ostium and is

7 Dr. Rebanta Kumar Bhattar

Lecture note on Gross Anatomy II 2 nd Semester/B.V.Sc. & A.H.

craniosinistral to the origin of the aorta. It is closed during ventricular relaxation (diastole) by the
backflow of blood forcing together the three cusps that arise around its margin and constitute the
pulmonary valve. The cusps are semilunar and deeply hollowed on the arterial side, fitting together
tightly when the valve is closed; thickenings of the contact areas, sometimes pronounced in older
animals, improve the seal.

FIG. Cranioventral view of the interior of the right FIG Dorsal view of the base of the bovine heart after
ventricle. removal of the atria. The ossa cordis on both sides
1, Cusp of right atrioventricular valve; 2, chordae of the aortic valve have been exposed.
tendineae; 3, papillary muscles; 4, pulmonary valve; 1, Right atrioventricular valve; 2, left atrioventricular
5, right auricle; 6, left auricle. valve; 3, aortic valve; 4, pulmonary valve; 5, ossa
cordis; 6, left coronary artery; 7, right coronary
The right ventricle doesn't quite reach the apex of the heart as the apex is formed entirely by the
more muscular left ventricle. From the right side, the right ventricle spirals around the cranial side of the
heart and terminates as the conus arteriosus at the left side of the base. The conus arteriosus is the funnel-
shaped origin of the pulmonary trunk.

8 Dr. Rebanta Kumar Bhattar

Lecture note on Gross Anatomy II 2 nd Semester/B.V.Sc. & A.H.

The Left Ventricle

This chamber is circular in section and forms
the apex of the heart as a whole. Except toward
the apex, its wall is much thicker than that of
the right ventricle in conformity with the
greater work it must perform; however, the
impression that the chamber is also much
smaller is illusory. The left atrioventricular
(bicuspid or mitral; Due to resemblance of
bishop's miter (two sided hat)) valve that closes
the atrioventricular ostium generally has only
two major cusps but is otherwise comparable
to that of the right side. It lies largely to the
left of the median plane. The exit to the aorta
takes a more central position within the heart.
FIGURE 7-16. Dorsal view of the base of the heart after re-
moval of the atria. The coronary arteries are exposed.
1, Right atrioventricular valve; 2, left atrioventricular valve; The aortic valve, generally resembling the
3, aortic valve; 4, pulmonary valve; 5, left coronary artery; 5', pulmonary valve, shows a different orientation
paraconal interventricular branch; 5", circumflex branch; 6,
right coronary artery.

of its cusps. The nodular thickenings in the free

margins of the aortic cusps are conspicuous.

The Structure of the Heart

Heart wall Consists of 3 Layers;
A) An outer serous covering called Epicardium
B) Myocardium : middle thick muscular layer
 It is composed of specialized cardiac
muscles tissue found only in heart.
 Also called involuntary striated
muscle. Cardiac muscles cells do
have cross striation but the nuclei are
more centrally located than voluntary
striated muscles.
 It is thickest at the apex and thins out
towards the base.
 It is also thickest in the left ventricle.
C) Endocardium : an inner lining Fig. Craniosinistral view of the heart after removal
of part of the wall of the right ventricle.
 Endocardium is a layer of simple 1, Left ventricle; 2, left auricle; 3, pulmonary trunk;
squamous endothelial cells which 4, aorta; 5, right auricle; 6. conus arteriosus; 7.
lines the chambers of heart supraventricular crest; 8, trabecula
(Myocardium), covers the heart septomarginalis.
valves, and is continuous with the lining of the blood vessels.
 It is thin, smooth, glistening membrane.
The atrial and ventricular parts of the muscle are separated by a fibrous skeleton that is
mainly formed by the conjunction of the rings that encircle the four heart orifices. The
skeleton contains islands of fibrocartilage in which nodules of bone (fossa cordis) may
develop. Although these bones appear precociously in the hearts of cattle, they are not
confined to this species as is sometimes suggested. The fibrous skeleton is perforated in

9 Dr. Rebanta Kumar Bhattar

Lecture note on Gross Anatomy II 2 nd Semester/B.V.Sc. & A.H.

one place (near the entrance of the coronary sinus) to allow passage to the atrioventricular
bundle of specialized tissue that conducts the impulse to contract and constitutes the only
direct connection between the atrial and ventricular muscles. Delicate extensions of the
fibrous tissue also provide the cores of the cusps of the various valves.
The atrial muscle is thin—indeed, the auricular wall may be translucent between the
pectinate ridges. It is arranged in superficial and deep bundles; some of the former are
common to both atria, but the remainder, and all of the deep bundles, are confined to one.
It has been postulated that the fascicles that surround the various venous inlets, both
systemic and pulmonary, act as throttles to oppose reflux of blood into the veins during
aerial systole.
The much thicker ventricular muscle is also arranged in superficial and deep bundles.
Some superficial bundles coil around both chambers, utilizing the septum to complete a
figure-of-eight course. Others, like the deeper bundles, encircle only the one chamber. The
arrangement of the muscle is actually very complicated, and analyses of the contraction
mechanism still leave much obscure.
The inherent rhythm of the heart is controlled by a pacemaker, a small sinuatrial node of
the modified muscle that provides the cardiac conducting tissue; it is richly innervated.
This node lies below the endocardium of the right atrial wall, ventral to the cranial caval
opening but it is not grossly demonstrable. In ungulates, specialized conductive tissue is
present subendocardially in the atrium, mainly on the pectinate muscles. A second,
atrioventricular, node of similar construction is found within the interatrial septum, cranial
to the opening of the coronary sinus; it is also richly innervated. This node gives origin to
the atrioventricular bundle, which penetrates the fibrous skeleton before dividing into right
and left limbs (crura) that straddle the
interventricular septum Each limb continues
ventrally close to the endocardium branches to reach
all parts of the heart muscle; part of the right bundle
travels to the outer wall by way of the septomarginal
band. The main conducting structures are not difficult
to display by dissection of the beef heart.
Vagus Nerve (Parasympthatic)- supplies to SA, AV
nodes and atrial muscle.
Sympathetic nerves- supplies to SA, AV and
myocardium of atria and ventricles.
Cardiac Vessels (coronary Circulation) and
The heart is lavishly supplied with blood, receiving
about 15 per cent of the output of the left ventricle.
The supply is led through the coronary arteries that
spring from two of the three sinuses above the
FIG. Branching of the left coronary artery
semilunar cusps at the beginning of the aorta. Coronary
on the heart viewed from the left. The left
arteries traverse the heart, eventually forming a vast auricle has been shortened.
network of capillaries.
1, Pulmonary trunk; 2, left coronary
The left coronary artery is usually the larger than the artery; 2', paraconal interventricular branch;
right. It arises above the caudosinistral cusp and 2", circumflex branch; 3, great cardiac vein
(continued by the coronary sinus on the
reaches the coronary groove by passing between the right side of the heart); 3', paraconal
left auricle and the pulmonary trunk; it divides almost interventricular branch of 3.
at once. The left (paraconal) interventricular branch

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Lecture note on Gross Anatomy II 2 nd Semester/B.V.Sc. & A.H.

follows the like-named groove toward the apex of the heart. The trunk continues as a circumflex
branch that follows the coronary groove toward the caudal aspect of the heart where it may
terminate close to the origin of the right (subsinuosal) interventricular groove (horse and pig)
or continue into this (carnivores and ruminants).
The right coronary artery arises above the cranial cusp and reaches the coronary groove after
passage between the right auricle and pulmonary trunk. It pursues a circumflex course that either
fades toward the origin of the subsinuosal groove or turns into it in those species in which the
left artery has the restricted distribution. Both coronary arteries send other branches, of varying
size and constancy of position, to neighboring parts of the atrial and ventricular walls. Very
small twigs extend some distance into the cores of the valve cusps.
Anastomoses are not formed between the main branches of the coronary arteries but are
numerous between the lesser branches. Even so, sudden closure of one of these small vessels
cannot usually be compensated; it leads to local infarction of the cardiac muscle.
Blood is principally returned to the heart through the great cardiac vein that opens separately
into the right atrium via the coronary sinus. Rather surprisingly, many very much lesser
(thebesian) veins open directly into all four heart chambers.

FIG. Patterns of coronary circulation on the heart viewed from the right. A, Situation in the ruminants and
carnivores; the right (subsinuosal) interventricular branch (1') is a continuation of the left coronary artery.
B, Situation in the horse and pig; the right (subsinuosal) interventricular branch (2') is a continuation of the
right coronary artery.
1, Circumflex branch of left coronary artery; 1', right (subsinuosal) interventricular branch; 2, right
coronary artery; 2', right (subsinuosal) interventricular branch; 3, coronary sinus; 4, great cardiac vein; 5,
middle cardiac vein.

The innervation of the heart is complicated topographically, but happily the details mainly
concern physiologists. A sympathetic contribution is routed through the caudal cervical and
first few thoracic ganglia of the sympathetic trunk. The postganglionic fibers form cardiac
plexuses within the cranial mediastinum before extending to the heart wall.
Parasympathetic fibers branch from the vagus nerves, either directly or after short passage

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Lecture note on Gross Anatomy II 2 nd Semester/B.V.Sc. & A.H.

within the recurrent laryngeal nerves. They end on nerve cells in the heart wall, especially
within and about the sinuatrial and atrioventricular nodes; many of the postganglionic fibers
pass to the nodes, others reach the periphery of the heart by following the atrioventricular bun-
dle and its branches.

The right half of the heart contains venous or impure blood; the left, arterial or pure blood. The
atria are receiving chambers, and the ventricles distributing ones. From the cavity of the thick walled left
ventricle the pure blood is carried into a large artery, the aorta, through the numerous branches of which it
is distributed to all parts of the body, with the exception of the lungs. In its passage through the capillaries of
the body the blood gives up to the tissues the materials necessary for their growth and nourishment, and at
the same time receives from the tissues the waste products resulting from their metabolism. In doing so it
is changed from arterial into venous blood, which is collected by the veins(cranial and caudal venacava)
and through them returned to the right atrium of the heart which is thin walled area for collection of
returning blood,. From this cavity the impure blood passes into the right ventricle, and is thence conveyed
through the pulmonary arteries to the lungs. In the capillaries of the lungs it again becomes arterialized,
and is then carried to the left atrium by the pulmonary veins. From the large thin walled left atrium it
passes into the left ventricle, from which the cycle once more begins.

The course of the blood from the left ventricle

through the body generally to the right side of the heart
constitutes the greater or systemic circulation, while its
passage from the right ventricle through the lungs to the
left side of the heart is termed the lesser or pulmonary

It is necessary, however, to state that the blood which

circulates through the spleen, pancreas, stomach, small
intestine, and the greater part of the large intestine is not
returned directly from these organs to the heart, but is
conveyed by the portal vein to the liver. In the liver this vein
divides, like an artery, and ultimately ends in capillary-like
vessels (sinusoids), from which the rootlets of a series of
veins, called the hepatic veins, arise; these carry the blood
into the inferior vena cava, whence it is conveyed to the
right atrium. From this it will be seen that the blood
contained in the portal vein passes through two sets of
vessels: (1) the capillaries in the spleen, pancreas, stomach,
etc., and (2) the sinusoids in the liver. The blood in the portal
vein carries certain of the products of digestion: the FIG. Schematic drawing of the systemic and
carbohydrates, which are mostly taken up by the liver pulmonary circulation.
cells and stored as glycogen, and the protein products 1, Left ventricle; 2, aorta; 3, capillary bed
which remain in solution and are carried into the general of head, neck, and forelimb; 4, abdominal
circulation to the various tissues and organs of the body. aorta; 5, liver; 6, capillary bed of intestines;
7, portal vein; 8, capillary bed of kidneys; 9,
capillary bed of caudal part of the body; 10,
Speaking generally, the arteries may be said to caudal vena cava; 11, cranial vena cava; 12,
contain pure and the veins impure blood. This is true of the right ventricle; 13, pulmonary trunk; 14,
systemic, but not of the pulmonary vessels, since it has capillary bed of lungs; 15, pulmonary vein;
been seen that the impure blood is conveyed from the 16, hepatic veins.
heart to the lungs by the pulmonary arteries, and the pure blood returned from the lungs to the heart by
the pulmonary veins. Arteries, therefore, must be defined as vessels which convey blood from the
heart, and veins as vessels which return blood to the heart.

12 Dr. Rebanta Kumar Bhattar

Lecture note on Gross Anatomy II 2 nd Semester/B.V.Sc. & A.H.

Boarder and surface

Anterior border convex, ventral part parellel to the sternum.
Posterior boarder nearly vertical and corresponds to the anterior border of 6th rib.
Both the surfaces (right and left) are convex.
The surfaces are traversed by transverse and longitudinal groves for occupation of coronary
Transverse groove: encircles the heart at the base of the ventricles and demarcates separation
between auricle and ventricle.
Longitudinal groove: two in number (left and Right). Extends from base of ventricle and run
towards the apex at the concerned surfaces.
Left is cranial
Right is caudal in position.
However none of longitudinal grove reaches the apex but become continuous with each other
a little above the apex. Small intermediate longitudinal groove descends from transverse
grooves along posterior border of the heart. The right and left longitudinal grooves mark the
margin of the inter-ventricular septum.
Opening of the right atrium :
Opening of Cranial Venacava
Opening of Caudal Venacava
Opening of Vena Azygos
Opening of Coronary Sinus
Right atrio-ventricular orifice
Moderate Band: Extends from the septum to the opposite wall. They are partly muscular, partly
tendineous and considered that they prevent over distention of the heart.

Comparative study of heart:

A. Horse:
 Situated at 2nd intercostals to 6th rib.
 Cone shaped and slightly flattened on each side.
 Anterior border is more convex than in ox.
 Base is comparatively broader
 Cranial border is more convex and caudal boarder is nearly vertical.
 Left and right longitudinal groove don't meet together.
 The ossae cordis is absent.
 Right auricle is larger than the left (in ox, left auricle is larger than right)
B. Dog:
 Ovoid shape, apex is blunt and rounded.
 The right and left longitudinal grooves meet to the right of the apex.
 The base faces the thoracic inlet and is opposite to the 3rd rib.
 The apex lies opposite to the 7th costal cartilage and is in contact with the diaphragm at
sternal part.
C. Fowl:
 Heart is proportionately larger and is placed at the midline in the cranial part of the
thoraco-abdominal cavity.
 Apex is placed between the cranial parts of the two lobes of liver.
 The right auricle is larger than the left.
 The A-V valves are thick.
 The right A-V valves is guarded by only one strong muscular leaf.

13 Dr. Rebanta Kumar Bhattar