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FUNCTIONS OF THE HEART
1. Heart possesses 4 chambers (2 atria and 2 ventricles) Blood enters the left atrium (LA) and left ventricle (LV) at a pressure near zero. The left ventricle pumps the blood into systemic circulation via the main distributing artery the aorta. Aorta divides into arteries which undergo successive divisions forming arterioles. These subdivide and lead to capillaries. Capillaries distribute the blood to the veins, which return the blood to the right atrium (RA) and right ventricle (RV) via great veins (inferior and superior vena cava).
2. 'RA' and 'RV' receive blood which has returned from the tissues via the veins. The 'RV' pumps the blood into pulmonary circulation via the pulmonary artery. The aorta divides into arterioles and leads to pulmonary capillaries. Pulmonary capillaries facilitate exchange of gases across them. The oxygenated blood is then collected from the pulmonary capillaries by pulmonary venules and veins and transported to the 'LA' and 'LV'.
3. Heart provides the pressure for circulation.
Functions of cardiovascular system
1. Distribution of metabolites and oxygen to all the body cells.
2. Collection of waste products and CO2 from different body cells and carry them to excretory organs.
3. Thermoregulation - carrying of heat from active metabolic sites (where heat is generated) to body surface where it is dissipated. Blood flow through skin varies to enhance or decrease the heat loss to the environment.
4. Distribution of hormones to the target tissues.
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