7.4. Blood Flow Through the Heart

Blood Vessels and Blood Flow

The heart is a syncytium. This means that it can conduct an electrical signal throughout its structure using gap junctions, ensuring that the cardiac muscle cells in each chamber wall contract together.

There is a variety of blood vessels associated with the chambers of the heart. These are best understood by studying the route of blood through the cardiovascular system (see also the accompanying diagram).

  • Deoxygenated blood enters the right atrium through the inferior vena cava.
  • Right atrium to right ventricle.
  • lood pumped from the right ventricle into the pulmonary trunk (then x2 pulmonary arteries), then arrives in the lungs. Blood is oxygenated here.
  • Pulmonary veins drain blood from the lungs to the left atrium.
  • Left atrium to left ventricle.
  • Blood pumped from the left ventricle into the aorta, travels around the body and becomes deoxygenated.
  • Back to the start.