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Cardiac physiology 

Cardiac physiology
Chapter:
Cardiac physiology
Author(s):

B Martin

and A Campbell

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199209101.003.02
Page of

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date: 04 July 2020

Introduction 14

Electrophysiology 16

Cardiac muscle 20

The cardiac cycle 22

Control of cardiac output 26

Control of blood pressure 30

Coronary circulation 32

Further reading 35

The heart is a highly specialized organ with unique muscle combining the characteristics of both skeletal and smooth muscle, which allows it to contract up to 2.6 billion times during a lifetime. It has a specialized conducting system that allows a variable synchronized rhythm, carefully balances preload, afterload, and contractility and supplies the body’s lifetime metabolic oxygen demand of 9.6 billion litres. When this system starts to fail tissue injury occurs. A thorough understanding of the basic principles that enable the heart to pump blood efficiently around the body and thus meet its demand for oxygen is essential for a cardiac anaesthetist....

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