Encyclopedia of Heart Diseases

2011 Edition
| Editors: M. Gabriel Khan

Anatomy of the Heart

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60761-219-3_7

Overview

In the human embryo, the unique little  heart begins to beat as early as day 22 (  Embryology). The adult human heart is a small pump that has a mass of only 200–400 g and is a highly efficient converter of chemical energy to mechanical energy (Taegtmeyer 2004). The heart uses more energy, in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), than any other organ. More than 6 kg of ATP is hydrolyzed by the heart daily (Ingwall 2002) for pumping 5 l of blood/min, 7,200 l/day, and over 2.6 million liters/year (Kumar et al. 2005). The  myocardium is as strong or stronger than the powerful thigh muscles, the quadriceps. Yet, this powerful organ that utilizes more than 6 kg ATP and pumps more than 2.6 million liters of blood/year is supplied by only three rather small arteries that have the diameter of a soda straw.
  • Importantly, all arteries in the body are maintained filled by the heart during its systolic contraction and also during its noncontractile filling phase,  diastole.

  • The  coronar...

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Bibliography

References

  1. Gaudin AJ, Jones KC (1989) Human anatomy and physiology. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, San Diego, CAGoogle Scholar
  2. Ingwall JS (2002) ATP and the heart. Kluwer Academic, Boston, MA, p 16Google Scholar
  3. Kumar V, Abbas AK, Fausto N et al (2005) Pathologic basis of disease, 7th edn. Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia, PAGoogle Scholar
  4. Taegtmeyer H (2004) Cardiac metabolism as a target for the treatment of heart failure. Circulation 110:894–896PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2011