The circulatory system consists of a central pump (heart) and the peripheral blood vessels (arteries, veins, and capillaries). The arteries carry blood pumped by the heart to the tissues by smaller arteries (arterioles) and capillaries. Blood is returned to the heart by smaller veins (venules) and larger veins. Figure 14.1 shows the circulation of blood to the principal organs and systems (see Chap. 1 for further details). Thus arterial (oxygenated) blood is pumped from the left ventricle through the aorta to the organs, and venous blood is returned to the right atrium, where it goes to the right ventricle, to the pulmonary arteries to the lungs where it is oxygenated. It then returns to the left atrium through the pulmonary veins. The pressure of the blood in the pulmonary arteries and veins is lower than systemic arterial pressure.
KeywordsCardiac Output Stroke Volume Sympathetic Nerve Diastolic Pressure Venous Return
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