The Function of the Circulatory System Lesson for Kids

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Cardiovascular System
The heart itself is supplied with oxygen and nutrients through a small "loop" of the systemic circulation and derives very little from the blood contained within the four chambers. The best evidence exists for the treatment of septic shock in adults and as the pathophysiology appears similar in children and other types of shock treatment this has been extrapolated to these areas. Sinus bradycardia Sick sinus syndrome Heart block: At this point, food takes the form of a small round mass and digestion becomes involuntary. To be certified as a gastroenterologist, a doctor must pass the Gastroenterology Certification Examination and undergo a minimum of 36 months of additional training.

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The Circulatory System

At the same time, the five paired segmental lateral side vessels, which branch from the dorsal vessel and link it to the ventral aligned along the bottom vessel, pulsate with their own independent rhythms. Although unusual, it is possible for a peristaltic heart to reverse direction. After a series of contractions in one direction, the hearts of tunicates sea squirts gradually slow down and eventually stop.

After a pause the heart starts again, with reverse contractions pumping the blood in the opposite direction. An elaboration of the simple peristaltic heart is found in the tubular heart of most arthropods, in which part of the dorsal vessel is expanded to form one or more linearly arranged chambers with muscular walls. The walls are perforated by pairs of lateral openings ostia that allow blood to flow into the heart from a large surrounding sinus, the pericardium. The heart may be suspended by alary muscles, contraction of which expands the heart and increases blood flow into it.

The direction of flow is controlled by valves arranged in front of the in-current ostia. Chambered hearts with valves and relatively thick muscular walls are less commonly found in invertebrates but do occur in some mollusks, especially cephalopods octopus and squid.

Blood from the gills enters one to four auricles depending on the species and is passed back to the tissues by contraction of the ventricle. The direction of flow is controlled by valves between the chambers. The filling and emptying of the heart are controlled by regular rhythmical contractions of the muscular wall. In addition to the main systemic heart, many species have accessory booster hearts at critical points in the circulatory system. Cephalopods have special muscular dilations, the branchial hearts, that pump blood through the capillaries, and insects may have additional ampullar hearts at the points of attachment of many of their appendages.

The control of heart rhythm may be either myogenic originating within the heart muscle itself or neurogenic originating in nerve ganglia. The hearts of the invertebrate mollusks, like those of vertebrates, are myogenic. They are sensitive to pressure and fail to give maximum beats unless distended; the beats become stronger and more frequent with increasing blood pressure.

Although under experimental conditions acetylcholine a substance that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse inhibits molluscan heartbeat, indicating some stimulation of the heart muscle by the nervous system, cardiac muscle contraction will continue in excised hearts with no connection to the central nervous system. Tunicate hearts have two noninnervated, myogenic pacemakers , one at each end of the peristaltic pulsating vessel. Separately, each pacemaker causes a series of normal beats followed by a sequence of abnormal ones; together, they provide periodic reversals of blood flow.

The control of heartbeat in most other invertebrates is neurogenic, and one or more nerve ganglia with attendant nerve fibres control contraction. Removal of the ganglia stops the heart, and the administration of acetylcholine increases its rate.

Adult heart control may be neurogenic but not necessarily in all stages in the life cycle. The embryonic heart may show myogenic peristaltic contractions prior to innervation. Heart rate differs markedly among species and under different physiological states of a given individual. In general it is lower in sedentary or sluggish animals and faster in small ones.

The rate increases with internal pressure but often reaches a plateau at optimal pressures. Oxygen availability and the presence of carbon dioxide affect the heart rate, and during periods of hypoxia the heart rate may decrease to almost a standstill to conserve oxygen stores. The time it takes for blood to complete a single circulatory cycle is also highly variable but tends to be much longer in invertebrates than in vertebrates.

For example, in isolation, the circulation rate in mammals is about 10 to 30 seconds, for crustaceans about one minute, for cockroaches five to six minutes, and for other insects almost 30 minutes. At the simplest levels of metazoan organization, where there are at most two cell layers, the tissues are arranged in sheets.

The necessity for a formal circulatory system does not exist, nor are the mesodermal tissues, normally forming one, present. The addition of the mesodermal layer allows greater complexity of organ development and introduces further problems in supplying all cells with their essential requirements. Invertebrate phyla have developed a number of solutions to these problems; most but not all involve the development of a circulatory system: Among the acoelomate phyla, the members of Platyhelminthes flatworms have no body cavity, and the space between the gut and the body wall, when present, is filled with a spongy organ tissue of mesodermal cells through which tissue fluids may percolate.

Dorsoventral back to front flattening, ramifying gut ceca cavities open at one end , and, in the endoparasitic flatworm forms, glycolytic metabolic pathways which release metabolic energy in the absence of oxygen reduce diffusion distances and the need for oxygen and allow the trematodes and turbellarians of this phylum to maintain their normal metabolic rates in the absence of an independent circulatory system.

The greatly increased and specialized body surface of the cestodes tapeworms of this phylum has allowed them to dispense with the gut as well. Most of the other acoelomate invertebrate animals are small enough that direct diffusion constitutes the major means of internal transport.

One acoelomate phylum, Nemertea proboscis worms , contains the simplest animals possessing a true vascular system. In its basic form there may be only two vessels situated one on each side of the straight gut. The vessels unite anteriorly by a cephalic space and posteriorly by an anal space lined by a thin membrane. The system is thus closed, and the blood does not directly bathe the tissues.

The main vessels are contractile, but blood flow is irregular and it may move backward or forward within an undefined circuit. The blood is usually colourless, although some species contain pigmented blood cells whose function remains obscure; phagocytic amoebocytes are usually also present. Although remaining fundamentally simple, the system can grow more elaborate with the addition of extra vessels. Pseudocoelomate metazoans have a fluid-filled body cavity, the pseudocoelom , which, unlike a true coelom, does not have a cellular peritoneal lining.

Most of the pseudocoelomates e. Muscular body and locomotor movements may help to circulate nutrients within the pseudocoelom between the gut and the body wall. The lacunar system of channels within the body wall of the gutless acanthocephalans spiny-headed worms may represent a means of circulation of nutrients absorbed through the body wall. Hemoglobin has been found in the pseudocoelomic fluid of a number of nematodes, but its precise role in oxygen transport is not known.

Despite their greater potential complexity, many of the minor coelomate phyla e. All of the major and some of the minor phyla have well-developed blood vascular systems, often of open design. While some small segmented worms of the phylum Annelida have no separate circulatory system, most have a well-developed closed system.

The typical arrangement is for the main contractile dorsal vessel to carry blood anteriorly while a number of vertical segmental vessels, often called hearts, carry it to the ventral vessel, in which it passes posteriorly. Segmental branches supply and collect blood from the respiratory surfaces, the gut, and the excretory organs.

There is, however, great scope for variation on the basic circulatory pattern. Many species have a large intestinal sinus rather than a series of vessels supplying the gut, and there may be differences along the length of a single individual. The posterior blood may flow through an intestinal sinus, the medial flow through a dense capillary plexus, and the anterior flow through typical segmental capillaries.

Much modification and complication may occur in species in which the body is divided into more or less distinct regions with specific functions. Many polychaete worms class Polychaeta , especially the fanworms but also representatives of other families, have many blind-ending contractile vessels. Continual reversals of flow within these vessels virtually replace the normal continuous-flow capillary system. In most leeches class Hirudinea , much of the coelomic space is filled with mesodermal connective tissue, leaving a series of interconnecting coelomic channels.

A vascular system comparable to other annelids is present in a few species, but in most the coelomic channels containing blood strictly coelomic fluid have taken over the function of internal transport, with movement induced by contraction of longitudinal lateral channels. The blood of many annelids contains a respiratory pigment dissolved in the plasma, and the coelomic fluid of others may contain coelomic blood cells containing hemoglobin. The most common blood pigments are hemoglobin and chlorocruorin, but their occurrence does not fit any simple evolutionary pattern.

Closely related species may have dissimilar pigments, while distant relatives may have similar ones. In many species the pigments function in oxygen transport, but in others they are probably more important as oxygen stores for use during periods of hypoxia.

In addition to internal circulation, many polychaete worms also set up circulatory currents for feeding and respiration. Tube-dwelling worms may use muscular activity to pass a current of oxygenated water containing food through their burrows, while filter-feeding fanworms use ciliary activity to establish complicated patterns of water flow through their filtering fans. The phylum Echiura spoonworms contains a small number of marine worms with a circulatory system of similar general pattern to that of the annelids.

Main dorsal and ventral vessels are united by contractile circumintestinal vessels that pump the colourless blood. Coelomic fluid probably aids in oxygen transport and may contain some cells with hemoglobin. With the exception of the cephalopods, members of the phylum Mollusca have an open circulatory system. The chambered, myogenic heart normally has a pair of posterior auricles draining the gills and an anterior ventricle that pumps the blood through the anterior aorta to the tissue sinuses, excretory organs, and gills.

Many gastropods lack a second set of gills, and in these the right auricle is vestigial or absent. The heart is enclosed within the coelomic cavity, which also surrounds part of the intestine. The single aorta branches, and blood is delivered into arterial sinuses, where it directly bathes the tissues. It is collected in a large venous cephalopedal sinus and, after passing through the excretory organs, returns to the gills.

The hydrostatic pressure that develops in the blood sinuses of the foot, especially of bivalve mollusks, is used in locomotion. Blood flow into the foot is controlled by valves: This type of locomotion is seen most commonly in burrowing species, who move through the substratum almost exclusively by this means. Like the annelids, many mollusks, especially the more sedentary bivalves, set up local feeding and respiratory currents. Fluid movement through the mantle cavity normally depends on muscular pumping through inhalant and exhalant siphons.

Within the cavity itself, however, ciliary activity maintains continuous movement across the gill surfaces, collecting food particles and passing them to the mouth. The cephalopods are more active than other mollusks and consequently have higher metabolic rates and circulatory systems of a higher order of organization. These systems are closed with distinct arteries, veins, and capillaries; the blood 6 percent of body weight remains distinct from the interstitial fluid 15 percent of body weight.

These relative percentages of body weight to blood volume are similar to those of vertebrates and differ markedly from those of species with open circulatory systems, in which hemolymph may constitute 40 to 50 percent of body weight. The cephalopod heart usually consists of a median ventricle and two auricles. Arterial blood is pumped from the ventricle through anterior and posterior aortas that supply the head and body, respectively.

It is passed through the capillary beds of the organs, is collected, and is returned to the heart through a major venous vessel, the vena cava. The vena cava bifurcates divides into two branches near the excretory organs, and each branch enters the nephridial sac before passing to the accessory hearts situated at the base of the gills.

Veins draining the anterior and posterior mantle and the gonads merge with the branches of the vena cava before reaching the branchial hearts. Contraction of the branchial hearts increases the blood pressure and forces blood through the gill capillaries. The auricles then drain the gills of oxygenated blood. The blood of most mollusks, including cephalopods, contains hemocyanin , although a few gastropods use hemoglobin.

In the cephalopods the pigment unloads at relatively high oxygen pressures, indicating that it is used to transport rather than store oxygen. Rapid cephalopod locomotion depends almost entirely on water pressure. During inhalation, muscular activity within the mantle wall increases the volume of the mantle cavity and water rushes in. Contraction of the circular mantle muscles closes the edge of the mantle and reduces its volume, forcing the enclosed water through the mobile funnel at high pressure.

The force of water leaving the funnel propels the animal in the opposite direction. Members of the phylum Brachiopoda lamp shells superficially resemble the mollusks but are not related. The circulatory system of brachiopods is open and consists of a small contractile heart situated over the gut, from which anterior and posterior channels supply sinuses in the wall of the gut, the mantle wall, and the reproductive organs.

The blood vascular system of arthropods is open. The coelom is much reduced, and most of the spaces in the arthropod body are hemocoels. The tubular heart is dorsal and contained in a pericardial sinus. Blood is pumped from the heart through a series of vessels arteries that lead to the tissue sinuses. Although the blood flows freely through the tissues it may, especially in the larger species, be directed by membranes along a more or less constant pathway.

The blood collects in a ventral sinus from which it is conducted back to the heart through one or more venous channels. Variations in the circulatory patterns of the different classes of the phylum Arthropoda largely reflect the method of respiratory exchange and consequent function of the blood vascular system.

Most of the aquatic species of the class Crustacea have gills with a well-developed circulatory system, including accessory hearts to increase blood flow through the gills. A small number of species lack gills and a heart, and oxygen is absorbed through the body surface; bodily movements or peristaltic gut contractions circulate the blood within the tissue spaces.

In the mainly terrestrial class Insecta, the role of oxygen transport has been removed from the blood and taken over by the ramifying tracheal system that carries gaseous atmospheric oxygen directly to the consuming tissues. Insects are able to maintain the high metabolic rates necessary for flight while retaining a relatively inefficient circulatory system.

Among the chelicerate possessing fanglike front appendages arthropods for example, scorpions, spiders, ticks, and mites , the horseshoe crab, Limulus , has a series of book gills gills arranged in membranous folds on either side of the body into which blood from the ventral sinus passes for oxygenation prior to return to the heart.

The largely terrestrial arachnids may have book lungs that occupy a similar position in the circulatory pathway, a tracheal system comparable to that of insects, or, in the case of smaller species, reduced tracheal and vascular systems in which contractions of the body muscles cause blood circulation through the sinus network.

The legs of spiders are unusual because they lack extensor muscles and because blood is used as hydraulic fluid to extend the legs in opposition to flexor muscles. The blood pressure of a resting spider is equal to that of a human being and may double during activity. The high pressure is maintained by valves in the anterior aorta and represents an exception to the general rule that open circulatory systems only function at low pressure.

The circulatory systems of echinoderms sea urchins, starfishes, and sea cucumbers are complicated as they have three largely independent fluid systems. The large fluid-filled coelom that surrounds the internal organs constitutes the major medium for internal transport. Circulatory currents set up by the ciliated cells of the coelomic lining distribute nutrients from the gut to the body wall.

The liver has many different functions in the body, but the main function of the liver in digestion is the production of bile and its secretion into the small intestine. The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located just posterior to the liver. The gallbladder is used to store and recycle excess bile from the small intestine so that it can be reused for the digestion of subsequent meals.

The pancreas is a large gland located just inferior and posterior to the stomach. The pancreas secretes digestive enzymes into the small intestine to complete the chemical digestion of foods. The large intestine is a long, thick tube about 2.

It is located just inferior to the stomach and wraps around the superior and lateral border of the small intestine. The large intestine absorbs water and contains many symbiotic bacteria that aid in the breaking down of wastes to extract some small amounts of nutrients. Feces in the large intestine exit the body through the anal canal. The digestive system is responsible for taking whole foods and turning them into energy and nutrients to allow the body to function, grow, and repair itself.

The six primary processes of the digestive system include:. The first function of the digestive system is ingestion, or the intake of food. The mouth is responsible for this function, as it is the orifice through which all food enters the body. The mouth and stomach are also responsible for the storage of food as it is waiting to be digested.

This storage capacity allows the body to eat only a few times each day and to ingest more food than it can process at one time. In the course of a day, the digestive system secretes around 7 liters of fluids. These fluids include saliva, mucus, hydrochloric acid, enzymes, and bile. Saliva moistens dry food and contains salivary amylase, a digestive enzyme that begins the digestion of carbohydrates. Mucus serves as a protective barrier and lubricant inside of the GI tract.

Hydrochloric acid helps to digest food chemically and protects the body by killing bacteria present in our food. Enzymes are like tiny biochemical machines that disassemble large macromolecules like proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids into their smaller components.

Finally, bile is used to emulsify large masses of lipids into tiny globules for easy digestion. Digestion is the process of turning large pieces of food into its component chemicals. Small tubes called venules pick up the now oxygen-poor blood and transfer it to the veins, which carry it to the heart.

Once the blood has returned to the heart and been pumped through the lungs to remove carbon dioxide and receive oxygen, it is pumped back into the rest of the body and starts the process again. Your circulatory system is made up of your heart and three main types of blood vessels -- arteries, veins and capillaries. Your heart is at the center of the system, acting as a pump to distribute nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood t Signs of poor circulation include cold hands and feet, numbness, dizziness, migraines, varicose veins and pain in your feet or legs.

Untreated, poor circulation can lead to stroke, high blood pressure, kidney damage and other diseases. Learn more about your heart and circulatory system with expert advice from Sharecare.

What Are the Risks Associated with Lvads? This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view.

It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

Cardiovascular System Physiology