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from the Greek: systole — contraction
German: Systole

1 Definition

Systole is the contraction or period of contraction of the heart, especially the ventricles of the heart, during which blood is pumped into the aorta by the left ventricle and into the pulmonary trunk by the right ventricle.

2 Anatomy

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

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

3 Physiology

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

The duration of a ventricular systole corresponds approximately to the QT-interval in an ECG, which is about 400 ms for an adult with a heart rate of 60 bpm.

The ventricular systole can be divided into two consecutive phases:

  • the isovolumic contraction phase, during which the ventricle contracts but its internal pressure is not yet sufficiently high to actually eject blood out of it
  • the ejection phase, during which blood is ejected out of the ventricle

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


Specialties: Anatomy

This page was last edited on 27 April 2014, at 16:50.

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