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Cardiovascular system: functions, organs and diseases

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The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, blood and blood vessels, which are responsible for meeting the needs of body tissues, transporting nutrients like oxygen, eliminating the products of metabolism, taking hormones from one part from the body to the other, keeping the liquids in the body so that the cells function properly.

Because blood carries defense cells, the circulatory system is able to protect the body from infections, providing protection and bringing these defense cells to all body organs.

In addition to this, the cardiovascular system also fulfills another important function, which is to bring the blood down in oxygen until the lungs to carry out the gas exchange and oxygenate again.



main functions

The cardiovascular system is in charge of pumping, transporting and distributing blood throughout the body, with the following objectives:

  • Transport oxygen from the lungs to all the tissues of the body;
  • Transporting carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs to carry out the gas exchange;
  • Provide different nutrients from food to all body cells;
  • Help fight infections through white blood cells, the body’s defense cells;
  • Help to clot the blood to stop bleeding or hemorrhage, by means of platelets, cells responsible for clotting.

Similarly, blood also transports hormones from one place to another to regulate certain functions of different body organs.

Organs of the cardiovascular system

The main components of the cardiovascular system are:

1. Heart

The heart is the main organ of the cardiovascular system and is characterized by being a hollow muscle, located in the center of the chest, functioning as a kind of pump. It is divided into four chambers:



  • Atria or atria: where the heart comes from bleeding through the lung, through the left auricula, or through the right auricula;
  • From the ventricles: that pump blood was from the heart, that goes to the lungs or the rest of the body.

The right side of the heart receives blood rich in carbon dioxide, also known as venous blood, and leads to the lungs, where it receives oxygen. From the lungs, the blood flows to the left atrium and down to the left ventricle, from where there is sale to the aorta artery, which transports blood rich in oxygen and nutrients to the whole body.

2. Arteries and veins

To circulate throughout the body, blood flows within blood vessels that are classified as:

  • Arteries: They are strong and flexible because they must carry blood from the heart and support high blood pressure. Its elasticity helps maintain blood pressure during heart beats;
  • Arterioles: pose muscle walls that adjust their diameter in order to increase or decrease the blood flow in a given area;
  • Capillaries: They are tiny blood vessels with extremely thin walls that act as bridges between arteries. These allow oxygen and nutrients to pass from the blood to the tissues and the metabolic waste to pass from the fabrics to the blood;
  • Venules: pose thin walls and receive blood from the capillaries to transport it to the venas of greater caliber;
  • Venas: They transport blood from return to heart and are generally not subject to major pressures and do not need to be as flexible as the arteries.

The entire functioning of the cardiovascular system is based on the heart’s bark, where the auricles and the ventricles of the heart are relaxed and contracted, forming a cycle that guarantees circulation throughout the body.

Physiology of the cardiovascular system

The cardiovascular system can be divided into two main parts: the pulmonary circulation (minor circulation), which leads to blood from the heart, to the lungs and from the lungs to return to the heart, and to the systemic circulation (mayor circulation), which leads to blood from the heart to all the tissues of the organism through the aorta artery.

  1. The physiology of the cardiovascular system is composed of different stages that include:
  2. The blood that comes from the body, poor in oxygen and rich in carbon dioxide, flows through the venas cavas until the right atrium;
  3. When filling the right atrium, it sends the blood to the right ventricle;
  4. When the right ventricle fills, it pumps blood through the pulmonary valve to the pulmonary arteries to fill the lungs;
  5. Blood flows through the capillaries in the plumones, absorbing oxygen and eliminating carbon dioxide;
  6. Blood rich in oxygen flows through the pulmonary veins to the left auricle in the heart;
  7. When filling the left atrium, it sends blood rich in oxygen to the left ventricle;
  8. When the left ventricle fills, it pumps blood through the aortic valve into the aorta;

Finally, blood rich in oxygen irrigates the entire body, supplying energy, oxygen and nutrients necessary for all organs to function.

Possible diseases that may arise

There are several diseases that can affect the cardiovascular system, among the most common are:

  • infarction: intense pain in the heart caused by the lack of blood in the heart, which could lead to death. Know the main symptoms of infarction;
  • Cardiac arrhythmia: It is characterized by irregular heartbeats, which can cause palpitations and shortness of breath. See how to identify cardiac arrhythmia;
  • Cardiac insufficiency: arises when the heart cannot pump enough blood to satisfy the body’s needs, causing shortness of breath and swelling in the tolls.
  • Congenital heart disease: there are cardiac malformations that are present at birth, such as a soplo in the heart, for example;
  • cardiomyopathy: it is a disease that affects the contraction of the heart muscle;
  • Valvulopathy: they are a set of diseases that affect some of the four valves that control the blood flow in the heart;
  • Cerebrovascular accident (CVA): is caused by obstruction or rupture of blood vessels in the brain. In addition, the ACV can have as a consequence the loss of movements and problems of speech and vision. See the main symptoms of cerebrovascular accident.

Cardiovascular system diseases, especially coronary diseases and cerebrovascular accidents, are the main causes of death worldwide. The advances in medicine have helped to reduce these numbers, but the best treatment continues to be prevention.

See the best advice to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Doctors who treat the cardiovascular system

Physicians who can treat possible diseases of the cardiovascular system include cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, cardio and cardiovascular surgeons, those who can indicate imaging and laboratory studies, in addition to performing some surgical procedures to treat certain diseases.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

Content for educational purposes only

The translator user relied on the following text:

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Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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