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Diastole

from the Greek: diastole — dilation
German: Diastole

1 Definition

Diastole is the period of relaxation and dilation of the chambers of the heart, especially the ventricles of the heart, during which it is being filled with blood.

2 Anatomy

Depending upon which chamber of the heart is being considered, diastole can be more precisely specified as:

  • atrial diastole: relaxation of the atria
  • ventricular diastole: relaxation of the ventricles

Very frequently the term "diastole" is used as a synonym for "ventricular diastole".

3 Physiology

Diastole is responsible for the easy flow of blood into the atria and ventricles from the circulatory system. Therefore it determines the pumping capacity of the heart. After a diastole there follows a systole.

For an adult with a heart rate of 75 bpm the duration of total heart relaxation is approximately 400 ms.

The ventricular diastole can be divided into three consecutive phases:

  • the relaxation phase, during which all of the valves in the heart are temporarily closed,
  • the early filling phase, during which the atrioventricular valves are open and the ventricles are drawing blood out of the atria,
  • the late filling phase, during which the atrial systole has begun to pump additional blood into the ventricles.

For further information about atrial and ventricular diastole refer to: cardiac cycle

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Specialties: Anatomy

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