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The characteristics of the heart

the heart

What is the heart?

The heart is one of the main organs of the body whose functioning guarantees the life of the person. It is considered the main organ of the circulatory system . Its main function is to supply blood to each of the organs of the body.

The heart is located in the thoracic cavity is a hollow and pyramidal muscle. It can weigh approximately 270 grams in an adult human being and its size resembles that of a clenched fist.

This organ is divided into 4 parts: two upper parts called atria and two lower parts called ventricles .

The pumping movement through which blood enters and discharges is called: systole and diastole.

Heart characteristics

  1. Location

It is located between the lungs in the center of the chest and has a slight inclination towards the left side of the human body.

  1. Principal function

The heart provides oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout the body. In order to fulfill this great function, it must beat more than 100,000 times per day.

  1. Cavities

The heart is divided into 4 cavities: two superiors called atria and two inferior ones called ventricles . The atria are responsible for receiving the blood that comes from the organs throughout the body while the ventricles send the blood to the rest of the body. As for power, the left ventricle is the one with the greatest amount of force.

  1. Valves

The heart also has valves that prevent blood from returning or taking the wrong path (back) to the heart.

  1. Pericardium, myocardium and endocardium

The heart is covered by a bag called pericardium that fulfills the function of protecting the heart. The outer layer of the pericardium is called serous pericardium , while the inner layer (which protects valves and chambers) is called the endocardium .

In the center of the heart between the pericardium and the endocardium is the myocardium , striated-looking muscular tissue.

  1. Coronary arteries

The heart needs blood for its functioning, but the blood that passes through it and is pumped throughout the body, travels too quickly. For this reason, the heart needs specific arteries, called coronary arteries.

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  1. Sinus node

Inside the right atrium is what is known as a heart pacemaker. Its function is to stabilize the heartbeat. This node indicates to the heart when it should accelerate the pumping (product of a run or in front of the performance of a sport) or that the speed of the beats decreases while the body is at rest or sleeping.

  1. Blood flow with low oxygen flow

Each half of the heart works as an independent pump. The right half is responsible for the return of oxygen-free blood that will travel to the lungs and then be removed from the body.

These cavities receive blood from the vena cava. Then the blood passes from the left atrium through the valve to the left ventricle and leaves the heart through the pulmonary artery.

  1. Blood flow with high oxygen flow

Blood with more oxygen reaches the left atrium through the pulmonary veins. The passage of blood from the left atrium to the left ventricle is regulated through the valves.

It is important to mention that the walls of the left ventricle are 3 times larger than the right ventricle. This is because it has to boost the blood with more energy so that it leaves the heart laden with oxygen and reaches all the organs of the body.

  1. Capacity

As explained above, the heart has the main function of pumping oxygen and nutrients to the body’s organs. The upper cavities (atria) have a capacity of 50 ml of blood. The lower cavities (ventricles) have a somewhat higher capacity: 60 ml of blood.

The whole heart can pump up to 7,000 ml of blood a day.


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