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This article is about the organ in various animals. For the human heart, see Human heart. For other uses, see Heart (disambiguation). "Cardiac" redirects here. For the cardboard computer, see CARDboard Illustrative Aid to Computation. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2009)


The human heart

Normal heart sounds Normal heart sounds as heard with astethoscope

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Real-time MRI of the human heart

The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system (including all vertebrates), that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions. The term cardiac (as in cardiology) means "related to the heart" and comes from the Greek καρδιά, kardia, for "heart". The vertebrate heart is composed of cardiac muscle, which is an involuntary striated muscle tissue found only in this organ, and connective tissue. The average human heart, beating at 72 beats per minute, will beat approximately 2.5 billion times during an average 66 year lifespan. It weighs approximately 250 to 300 grams (9 to 11 oz) in females and 300 to 350 grams (11 to 12 oz) in males.[1] In invertebrates that possess a circulatory system, the heart is typically a tube or small sac and pumps fluid that contains water and nutrients such as proteins, fats, and sugars. In insects, the "heart" is often called the dorsal tube and insect "blood" is almost always not oxygenated since they usually respirate (breathe) directly from their body surfaces (internal and

the two endocardial . Contents [hide]   1 Early development 2 Structure o o o o 2.2 In fish 2. Heart muscle is termed myocardium. lymphatic and blood vessels.1 In humans 2.external) to air.4 The fully divided heart      3 Functioning 4 History of discoveries 5 See also 6 References 7 External links [edit]Early development Main article: Heart development The mammalian heart is derived from embryonic mesoderm germ-layer cells that differentiate after gastrulation into mesothelium. However. the hearts of some otherarthropods (including spiders and crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp) and some other animals pump hemolymph.3 In double circulatory systems 2. Mesothelial pericardium forms the outer lining of the heart.[2] From splanchnopleuric mesoderm tissue. endothelium. In the cardiogenic plates. develop from endothelium. The cell clusters coalesces to form an endocardial tube continuous with a dorsal aorta and a vitteloumbilical vein. As embryonic tissue continues to fold. the cardiogenic plates develops cranially and laterally to the neural plate. two separate angiogenic cell clusters form on either side of the embryo. and myocardium. The inner lining of the heart. which contains thecopper-based protein hemocyanin as an oxygen transporter similar to the ironbased hemoglobin in red blood cells found in vertebrates.

is: the Age in days = EHR(0.tubes are pushed into the thoracic cavity. The embryonic heart rate (EHR) then accelerates by approximately 100 BPM during the first month to peak at 165-185 BPM during the early 7th week afer conception. begin to fuse together. or about 10 BPM every three days. This acceleration is approximately 3. (See Circulatory system. or five weeks after the last normal menstrual period (LMP). which describes this acceleration before the embryo reaches 25 mm in crownrump length.2 LMP weeks. the human heart begins beating at 70 to 80 beats per minute and accelerates linearly for the first month of beating. The human embryonic heart begins beating at around 21 days after conception. The regression formula.[7] [edit]Structure The structure of the heart varies among the different branches of the animal kingdom. at term. which is an increase of 100 BPM in the first month. about 75-80 beats per minute (BPM).3)+6.1 weeks after the LMP. The human heart begins beating at a rate near the mother’s.[3] At 21 days after conception. or 9.[4][5][6] After 9. There is no difference in female and male heart rates before birth. (early 9th week after the LMP).) Cephalopods have two "gill hearts" and one . After the 15th week. The first day of the LMP is normally used to date the start of the gestation (pregnancy). the deceleration slows to an average rate of about 145 (+/-25 BPM) BPM. and complete the fusing process at approximately 21 days.3 BPM per day. it decelerates to about 152 BPM (+/-25 BPM) during the 15th week post LMP.

The inner layer is called the endocardium and is in contact with the blood that the heart pumps. Blue components indicate deoxygenated blood pathways and red components indicate oxygenated pathways.[10] . Hagfishes."systemic heart". the heart lies in the anterior part of the body cavity. it merges with the inner lining (endothelium) of blood vessels and covers heart valves. This sac protects the heart. and prevents overfilling of the heart with blood. The superficial part of this sac is called the fibrous pericardium. also possess a second heart-like structure in the tail. uniquely among vertebrates. The outer layer is called the epicardium. or visceral pericardium since it is also the inner wall of the pericardium. It is always surrounded by a pericardium.[9] It is located anterior to the vertebral column and posterior to the sternum. The outer wall of the human heart is composed of three layers. The human heart has a mass of between 250 and 350 grams and is about the size of a fist. dorsal to the gut. The middle layer is called the myocardium and is composed of muscle which contracts. In vertebrates. which is usually a distinct structure. but may be continuous with the peritoneum in jawless and cartilaginous fish. anchors its surrounding structures. It is enclosed in a double-walled sac called the pericardium. Also.[8] [edit]In humans Main article: Human heart Structure diagram of the human heart from an anterior view.

through the dorsal aorta. blood flows into the atrium and then to the powerful muscular ventricle where the main pumping action will take place. entering through the superior vena cava into the right atrium and is pumped through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle before being pumped out through the pulmonary valve to the pulmonary arteries into the lungs. into the rest of the body. The first chamber is the sinus venosus. The ventral aorta delivers blood to the gills where it is oxygenated and flows. from the body. The fourth and final chamber is the conus arteriosus which contains several valves and sends blood to the ventral aorta. two superior atria and two inferior ventricles. which collects deoxygenated blood.The human heart has four chambers. Deoxygenated blood flows through the heart in one direction. . The pathway of blood through the human heart consists of a pulmonary circuit[11] and a systemic circuit. through the hepatic and cardinal veins. It returns from the lungs through the pulmonary veins to the left atrium where it is pumped through the mitral valve into the left ventricle before leaving through the aortic valve to the aorta. but the chambers are arranged sequentially so that this primitive heart is quite unlike the four-chambered hearts of mammals and birds.[12][13] [edit]In fish Schematic of simplified fish heart Primitive fish have a four-chambered heart. From here. The atria are the receiving chambers and the ventricles are the discharging chambers.

with the pulmonary vein by-passing it entirely to enter the left atrium. thus helping to keep the two bloodstreams separate. This allows for some degree of separation between the de-oxygenated bloodstream destined for the lungs and the oxygenated stream that is delivered to the rest of the body. a double circulatory system is used but the heart is not completely separated into two pumps. the conus arteriosus is very small and can more accurately be described as part of the aorta rather than of the heart proper. which remains large in amphibians but connects only to the right atrium. In the heart of lungfish. instead. the septum extends part-way into the ventricle. In teleosts. In living amphibians. The development of the double system is necessitated by the presence of lungs which deliver oxygenated blood directly to the heart. presumably having been absorbed into the ventricles over the course of evolution. instead form an S-shape with the latter two chambers lying above the former two. The absence of such a division in living amphibian species may be at least partly due to the amount of respiration that occurs through the skin in such species. This relatively simpler pattern is found in cartilaginous fish and in the ray-finned fish. the blood returned to the heart through the vena cavae is. one half forms the ascending aorta. it is otherwise absorbed into the right atrium and is no longer distinguishable. the ventral aorta has divided in two. the atrium is divided into five separate chambers by the presence of a muscular septum even though there is only a double ventricle.[8] In the adult fish. while the other forms thepulmonary artery). receives blood from thevena cavae. in at least some species of amphibian. there may be less need for a finer division between the two bloodstreams than in lungfish or other tetrapods. in fact. thus. Similarly. Furthermore. Nonetheless. the four chambers are not arranged in a straight row but. The conus arteriosus is not present in any amniotes.[8] [edit]In double circulatory systems In amphibians and most reptiles. already partially oxygenated. that divides it into two parallel parts. the conus arteriosus has lost its original valves and contains a spiral valve.(In tetrapods.[8] . The sinus venosus. As a result. while the sinus venosus is present as a vestigial structure in some reptiles and birds. the spongy nature of the ventricle seems to maintain more of a separation between the bloodstreams than appears the case at first glance.

In practice.[8] [edit]The fully divided heart Human heart removed from a 64-year-old man Surface anatomy of the human heart. mixing between the bloodstreams. the septum is generally much larger.The heart of most reptiles (except for crocodilians. so the aorta receives. however. This divides the ventricle into two halves but. see below) has a similar structure to that of lungfish but. only oxygenated blood. here. if any. essentially. because the septum does not reach the whole length of the heart. in the majority of reptilian species. there is a considerable gap near the openings to the pulmonary artery and the aorta. The heart is demarcated by: -A point 9 cm to the left of themidsternal line (apex of the heart) -The seventh right sternocostal articulation -The upper border of the third right costal cartilage 1 cm from the right sternal line -The lower border of the second left costal cartilage 2. there appears to be little.[14] .5 cm from the left lateral sternal line.

The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system (including all vertebrates). but an extremely diseased heart can be up to 1000 g (2 lb) in mass due to hypertrophy.kept entirely separate by a physical barrier. or about twice the size of a clenched fist (it is about the size of a clenched fist in children). rhythmic contractions. the foramen of Panizza. only in birds and mammals are the two streams of blood those to the pulmonary and systemic circulations . In normal adults. kardia. these cavities house the lungs. The mediastinum also contains other structures. thus. (crocodilians. it is also surrounded by the lungs. and is flanked on either side by the right and left pulmonary cavities. there is a small opening. In crocodilians. that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated. although sometimes it is on the right (see dextrocardia). It is located posterior to the 5th intercostal space just medial of the left mid-clavicular line. underneath the sternum. such as the esophagus and trachea. The heart is fed by the coronary circulation and is enclosed by a sac known as thepericardium. The left lung is smaller than the right lung because the heart occupies more of the left hemithorax. The term cardiac (as in cardiology) means "related to the heart" and comes from the Greek καρδιά. The heart is located in the mediastinum. birds). at the base of the arterial trunks and there is some degree of mixing between the blood in each side of the heart. the two upper atria and the two lower ventricles.[8] In the human body. for "heart". A stethoscope can be placed directly over the apex so that the beats can be counted. the mass of the heart is 250350 g (9-12 oz). The vertebrate heart is composed of cardiac muscle. the heart is usually situated in the middle of the thorax with the largest part of the heart slightly offset to the left. which is the central sub-division of the thoracic cavity. which is an involuntary striated muscle tissue . The heart is usually felt to be on the left side because the left heart (left ventricle) is stronger (it pumps to all body parts). It consists of four chambers. it is thought that the fourchambered heart of archosaurs evolved independently from that of mammals. and a double membrane structure (parietal and visceral pericardium) containing a serous fluid to reduce friction during heart contractions. made of dense fibrous connective tissue.Archosaurs. and mammals show complete separation of the heart into two pumps for a total of four heart chambers. The pericardium comprises two parts: the fibrous pericardium.[15] The apex is the blunt point situated in an inferior (pointing down and left) direction.

beating at 72 beats per minute. Blue components indicate de-oxygenated blood pathways and red components indicate oxygenated pathways. will beat approximately 2. . the "heart" is often called the dorsal tube and insect "blood" is almost always not oxygenated since they usually respirate (breathe) directly from their body surfaces (internal and external) to air. However.5 billion times during an average 66 year lifespan. the heart is typically a tube or small sac and pumps fluid that contains water and nutrients such as proteins. and connective tissue. The average human heart.found only in this organ. [edit]Functioning Blood flow diagram of the human heart.[1] In invertebrates that possess a circulatory system. fats. which contains the copper-based protein hemocyanin as an oxygen transporter similar to the iron-based hemoglobin in red blood cells found in vertebrates. and sugars. In insects. the hearts of some other arthropods (including spiders and crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp) and some other animals pump hemolymph. It weighs approximately 250 to 300 grams (9 to 11 oz) in females and 300 to 350 grams (11 to 12 oz) in males.

From the left atrium the blood moves to the left ventricle. The (relatively) deoxygenated blood then travels to the venules. through the bicuspid valve. The blood travels in the arteries to the smaller arterioles and then. finally. via the right ventricle. the blood flows through the tricuspid valve to the right ventricle. through the tricuspid valve. . which pumps it out to the body (via the aorta).Image showing the conduction system of the heart In mammals. This happens through the passive process of diffusion. which coalesce into veins. The aorta forks and the blood is divided between major arteries which supply the upper and lower body. It then travels through the mitral valve to the left ventricle. oxygenated blood flows back through the pulmonary vein to the left atrium. into the lungs (pulmonary circulation) so that carbon dioxide can be dropped off and oxygen picked up (gas exchange). The muscle wall surrounding the left ventricle is thicker than the wall surrounding the right ventricle due to the higher force needed to pump the blood through the systemic circulation. then to the inferior and superior venae cavae and finally back to the right atrium where the process began. it is pumped out the pulmonary semilunar valve and travels through the pulmonary artery to the lungs. Here. the function of the right side of the heart (see right heart) is to collect de-oxygenated blood. from the body (via superior and inferior vena cavae) and pump it. On both sides. The left side (see left heart) collects oxygenated blood from the lungs into the left atrium. Starting in the right atrium. the lower ventricles are thicker and stronger than the upper atria. From there. from where it is pumped through the aortic semilunar valve to the aorta. in the right atrium. to the tiny capillaries which feed each cell.

Indeed. which are conducted through body fluids to the skin. ranging from around 20 beats per minute incodfish to around 600 in hummingbirds.[16] The events related to the flow or blood pressure that occurs from the beginning of one heartbeat to the beginning of the next can be referred to a cardiac cycle.The heart is effectively a syncytium. in the atrium. or pacemaker. The Purkinje fibres form conducting pathways called bundle branches. impulses from the SA node spread rapidly through the walls of the artria. [17] The SA node is found in all amniotes but not in more primitive vertebrates. This relates to electrical stimulation of one cell spreading to neighboring cells. The impulses also pass to another region of specialized cardiac muscle tissue. contracting without any signal from the nervous system. causing both artria to contract in unison. much like those produced by nerve cells. The delay ensures that the artria empty completely before the ventricles contract. In these animals. an extremely rapid heart beat . located in the wall between the right atrium and the right ventricle. a meshwork of cardiac muscle cells interconnected by contiguous cytoplasmic bridges. lasts about 0. Each of these cells have their own intrinsic contraction rhythm.8 seconds. the impulses are delayed for about 0. Specialized muscle fibers called Purkinje fibers then conduct the signals to the apex of the heart along and throughout the ventricular walls. the muscles of the heart are relatively continuous and the sinus venosus coordinates the beat which passes in a wave through the remaining chambers. Because cardiac muscle cells are electrically coupled by inter-calated disks between adjacent cells. This entire cycle.[8] Cardiac arrest is the sudden cessation of normal heart rhythm which can include a number of pathologies such as tachycardia. The SA node generates electrical impulses. with their vestigial sinus venosus. Some cardiac cells are self-excitable. a single heart beat. where they can be detected by electrodes and recorded as an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). A region of the human heart called the sinoatrial (SA) node. a relay point called the atrioventricular node.1s before spreading to the walls of the ventricle. it is likely homologouswith the SA node. sets the rate and timing at which all cardiac muscle cells contract. Here. since the sinus venosus is incorporated into the right atrium in amniotes. In teleosts. instead. even if removed from the heart and placed in culture. the main centre of coordination is. The impulses generated during the heart cycle produce electrical currents. The rate of heartbeat varies enormously between different species.

which is the cessation of heart rhythm entirely. 15th century The valves of the heart were discovered by a physician of the Hippocratean school around the 4th century BC. Thus he apparently postulated capillaries. Philosophers distinguished veins from arteries. but with reversed flow of blood. Tamponade is treated bypericardiocentesis. but thought the pulse was a property of arteries themselves. . arteries look empty. which is an irregular and ineffective heart rhythm. Erasistratos observed that arteries cut during life bleed.which prevents the heart from effectively pumping blood. their function was not properly understood then. and gently withdrawing the tamponading fluids. Because blood pools in the veins after death. the gentle insertion of the needle of a syringe into the pericardial sac (avoiding the heart itself) on an angle. However. Cardiac tamponade is a condition in which the fibrous sac surrounding the heart fills with excess fluid or blood. He ascribed the fact to the phenomenon that air escaping from an artery is replaced with blood which entered by very small vessels between veins and arteries. usually from just below the sternum. Ancient anatomists assumed they were filled with air and that they were for transport of air. and asystole. suppressing the heart's ability to beat properly. byLeonardo da Vinci. [edit]History of discoveries Heart and its blood vessels.

com. Blood flowed from both creating organs to all parts of the body.. As the arterial blood was created. 'sooty' vapors were created and passed to the lungs.The Greek physician Galen (2nd century AD) knew blood vessels carried blood and identified venous (dark red) and arterial (brighter and thinner) blood. [edit]See also      Electrical conduction system of the heart Heart disease Langendorff Heart Physiology Trauma triad of death [edit]References 1. 556 2. . to be exhaled. ^ DuBose. p. 7th Ed.luc. Obgyn. For more recent technological developments. Moutos. each with distinct and separate functions. The heart did not pump blood around.net. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 4. ^ "Animal Tissues". also via the pulmonary artery. Retrieved 2010-10-17. Retrieved 2010-10-17. ^ "Main Frame Heart Development". where it was consumed and there was no return of blood to the heart or liver. Miller .edu. Fausto: Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 3. ^ Kumar. Galen believed the arterial blood was created by venous blood passing from the left ventricle to the right through 'pores' in the interventricular septum.rcn. "Embryonic Heart Rates Compared in Assisted and Non-Assisted Pregnancies". while arterial blood gave vitality by containing pneuma (air) and originated in the heart. while air passed from the lungs via the pulmonary artery to the left side of the heart. Abbas. Meddean. 2010-08-13. Users. the heart's motion sucked blood in during diastole and the blood moved by the pulsation of the arteries themselves. see Cardiac surgery. Growth and energy were derived from venous blood created in the liver from chyle.

Jill D. The Vertebrate Body. Pearson. Your Body: The Missing Manual. Medicalook. ISBN 0-59680174-2.com. 12. Sebastopol.OCLC 32308337. 437–442. CA: Pogue Press. Maryanna Quon Warner. Cunyus JA.873. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education. p. Elaine Nicpon. David LaHart. Alfred Sherwood.131 13. 2010 pp. 11. Surface Markings of the Thorax". ^ "Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body . Jean Hopkins. ^ DuBose TJ. PA: HoltSaunders International. 6. TJ (1996) Fetal Sonography. Embryonic Heart Rate and Age. 15. ^ Terry J. ^ Guyton. Englewood Cliffs. Philadelphia: WB Saunders ISBN 0-7216-5432-0 7. Parsons. & Hall. Charles William McLaughlin. Retrieved 2011-05-10. p. ^ "Pulmonary circuit". ISBN 0-03-910284X. Philadelphia. 263-274. ^ DuBose. (2006) Textbook of Medical Physiology (11th ed. 16. Wright (1993). 2003. MedicaLook. Matthew (2009). medicaldictionary. pp. DuBose Sex. 6:151-157. Print 14. Human Anatomy & Physiology.5. ^ a b c d e f g Romer. ^ Maton. ISBN 0-13-981176-1. Heart Rate and Age 8.E. ^ Emergency Medical Responder 3rd Can Ed.com. Retrieved 201005-03. J Diagn Med Sonography.874 17. November 1990. Susan Johnson. (1977). 9. Anthea. J. Retrieved 201010-18. Bartleby.C. ^ "Heart". Reece-Biology. 6th ed. ^ Marieb. & Johnson L.thefreedictionary. 10.) Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunder ISBN 0-7216-0240-1 . ^ Campbell. A. Thomas S. Human Biology and Health. 7th Ed.6. ^ MacDonald.com. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

and all its components can be studied from any angle. (listen now) Atlas of Human Cardiac Anatomy .Endoscopic views of beating hearts .Cardiac anatomy Heart contraction and blood flow (animation) Heart Disease eMedicine: Surgical anatomy of the heart Animal hearts: fish. cardiovascular sy View page ratings Rate this page What's this? Trustworthy Objective Complete Well-written . squid Heart Information Oath of Awareness Heart disease awareness site Dissection review of the anatomy of the Human Heart including vessels. Watch an animation explaining how the normal human heart works [show]v · d · eHuman [show]v · d · eAnatomy of torso. internal and external features Interactive 3D heart This realistic heart can be rotated. Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Heart (organ)            The Heart on In Our Time at the BBC.[edit]External links Look up heart in Wiktionary. the free dictionary.

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