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Cardiovascular system

From Greek: καρδία ( "cardiac") - heart
Synonyms: circulatory system, circulatory organs
German: Kardiovaskuläres System

1 Definition

The cardiovascular system is a complex transport system of the human body, which ensures the maintenance of blood circulation.

2 Anatomy

The cardiovascular system is anatomically made up of the heart and the blood vessels.

3 Classification

One can subdivide the cardiovascular system functionally into a low and a high pressure system.

3.1 Low pressure system

The low-pressure system only covers a small blood pressure range, from 0 to 15 mmHg. It accomodates about 85% of circulating blood volume. Its components include the capillary bed, the veins, the right side of the heart, the vessels of the pulmonary circulatory system and the left atrium. Its main task is the intermediate storing of blood. In order to accomplish this task, the components of the low-pressure system possess an appropriate absorption capacity, which exists among other things due to the elasticity of its vessels.

If, for example, a loss of blood occurs, the blood volume pooled in the low pressure system is provided so as to maintain the blood pressure level necessary for organ perfusion as constant as possible.

3.2 High pressure system

The high-pressure system consists of the left ventricle and arteries of systemic circulation. The pressure prevailing in the major arterial blood pressure is - depending on the action of the heart - at rest about between 70 and 120 mm Hg. Its main task is the adequate supply of the organs with blood. In stress situations that require an increased organ supply, the blood pressure can be increased significantly.

This page was last edited on 9 September 2016, at 09:52.

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