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Starling’s Law and Related Matters

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Abstract

The heart is a clever pump. One of its tricks is to pump out exactly the amount of blood that it has just received from the veins. It manages this by automatically adjusting its volume and the force of its contraction to the recently arrived blood. The concept is actually quite an old one in the history of the circulation, but it was Starling who teased out the component parts and was confident enough to dignify his conclusions with a title: “The Law of the Heart” (capital letters seem to be optional). He isolated the organ in his heart—lung preparation, an arrangement that excluded the nervous and circulatory factors that would complicate measurements made in the whole animal.

Keywords

  • Cardiac Output
  • Venous Pressure
  • Central Venous Pressure
  • Heart Muscle
  • Superior Vena Cava

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

The great Dr Starling, in his Law of the Heart, Said the output was greater if, right at the start, The cardiac fibres were stretched a bit more, So their force of contraction would be more than before. Thus the larger the volume in diastole The greater the output was likely to be —A.C. Burton (1972)

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© 2005 American Physiological Society

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Henderson, J. (2005). Starling’s Law and Related Matters. In: A Life of Ernest Starling. People and Ideas Series. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7526-2_5

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