Cardiac Cycle Essay

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Cardiac Cycle The cardiac cycle describes the coordinated and rhythmic series of muscular contractions associated with the normal heart beat. The cardiac cycle can be subdivided into two major phases, the systolic phase and the diastolic phase. Systole occurs when the ventricles of the heart contract. Accordingly, systole results in the highest pressures within the systemic and pulmonary circulatory systems. Diastole is the period between ventricular contractions when the right and left ventricles relax and fill. The cardiac cycle cannot be described as a linear series of events associated with the flow of blood through the four chambers. One can not accurately describe the cardiac cycle by simply tracing the path of blood from the…show more content…
In a sweeping fashion, the right atrium contracts and forces the final volume of blood into the right ventricle. The left atrium contracts and contributes the final 20% of volume to the left ventricle. The S-A node signal is delayed by the atrioventricular node to allow the full contraction of the atria that allows the ventricles to reach their maximum volume. A sweeping right to left wave of ventricular contraction then pumps blood into the pulmonary and systemic circulatory systems. The semilunar valves that separate the right ventricle from the pulmonary artery and the left ventricle from the aorta open shortly after the ventricles begin to contract. The opening of the semilunar valves ends a brief period of isometric (constant volume) ventricular contraction and initiates a period of rapid ventricular ejection. As muscle fibers contract, they lose their ability to contract forcefully (i.e., the greatest force of muscular contraction in the ventricle occurs earlier in the contraction phase and decreases as contraction proceeds). When ventricular pressures fall below their respective attached arterial pressures, the semilunar pulmonary and aortic valves close. At the end of systole, the semilunar valves shut to prevent the backflow of blood into the ventricles. After emptying, both ventricles collapse to
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