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The Human Heart - Research Paper Example

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Further, the understanding of the cardiac cycle and its function will be discussed as well as the important ElectroCardiac (EKG) readings which show electrical activity. Cardiovascular mechanics will be discussed and how it maintains whole person homeostasis along with general features of the cardiac cycle and the electrolytes involved in the action potential. Some basic alterations of cardiac activity will also be covered here, as well as a few primary pathologies that will affect other organ systems such as tumors, congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, among others as well as how pharmaceuticals are involved and help compensate for any loss of function. As such the 3 sections of this paper will include normal physiology, pathology of the organ and associated affects on the body, and conclusions from discovery. The appendix will include all graphic information mentioned in this paper at the end. Keywords: cardiac function, pathology, EKG, physiology, cycle, vascular homeostasis I. FUNCTION OF THE HEART AND VASCULAR SYSTEM The heart lies in the thorax of the body in an area called the mediastinum. This area is further divided into inferior and superior parts by a plane passing from the sternal angle anteriorly to the intervertebral disc between T4 and T5 posteriorly (Harrison's 2008). The inferior mediastinum is classically subdivided into middle, anterior and posterior parts. The heart is contained within a sac called the pericardium which is fibrous in the outer part and also has a double membraned serous sac between the parietal and visceral layers. The right border of the heart is formed by the right atrium and the left ventricle and left atrium form the left border. The apex is the tip of the ventricle. The blood flow into the heart begins and ends at the superior/inferior vena cava which brings deoxygenated blood back to the heart to be transported through the pulmonary artery and vein to and from the lungs where gas exchange occurs. Oxygenated blood flows then from the pulmonary vein into the left atrium to the left ventricle and out to the body in the aorta and following arteries and veins. The heart is a functioning pump which forced blood throughout the body and obviously all necessary organs and structures to supply the body with oxygenated blood and nutrients. The heart is the beginning and ending of life. Without the heart pumping blood through the body, there is no life. Subsequently, any discussion of life after heart failure is pointless and will not be discussed. In terms of heart mechanics, systolic function is a measurement of the overall force generated by the ventricular muscle during systole, which is determined by the number of cross bridges cycling during a contraction. The number of cross bridges is determined by the amount of preload on the heart and level of contractility. The factors work together in general to determine the overall force. As with skeletal muscle, preload is the load on the muscle in a relaxed state (diastole). More accurately, it is the pre-stretch of the heart ventricle before the beginning of contraction. The end of the paper will show indices of cardiac function, preload, contractility indexes and a host of physiology related information in support of the mechanics of the heart and how the above is measured. The hearts action as a pump supplies blood to all sectors of the body. The most important organs in order of blood flow are the brain, kidney, and liver. The obvious ...Show more
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Cardiac Function and Physiology Effects on homeostasis and organ function John Doe Biology 164 St. Augustine University, North Dakota Professor N. Utter October 21, 2011 Abstract This paper explains the function, physiology, and effects on homeostasis for other organ systems…
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