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fluid connective tissue of cardiovascular system; contains blood cells (red & white) and plasma

5 functions of blood

1. Transport substances (O2, nutrients, etc)
2. Restrict fluid loss (ie, blood)
3. Defend from pathogens
4. Regulate pH and ions
5. Stabilize body temperature

blood pH

7.35 - 7.45;
or 7.40 ± 0.05


liquid portion of blood;
made of water (92%), proteins, salts, nutrients, hormones, and waste;
≈55% of blood

3 plasma proteins

fibrinogen, Albumin, and globulin;
made by the liver


most numerous plasma protein;
maintains osmotic pressure of blood;
"attracts" water to osmose back into blood stream from tissues


transport hydrophobic (water-frightened; ie, oily) molecules; immunoglobulins function in immunity and allergy


plasma protein cleaved into fibrin by thrombin during blood coagulation;


blood-clotting protein formed when thrombin cleaves fibrinogen during coagulation (clotting) process; last step of blood clotting

formed elements

Erythrocytes (RBCs)
Leukocytes (WBCs)
Platelets (aka thrombocytes, which are cell fragments not cells);


red blood cell;
full of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen;
5,000,000 cells/mm3
99.9% of blood cells are RBCs;
formed in red bone marrow


oxygen-carrying molecule found in erythrocytes;
made of heme (pigment) and globin (protein);
heme contains Iron (Fe2+), which turns red when bound to O2;
Hgb range = 12-18g/100cc


orange-yellow pigment in bile;
breakdown product of hemoglobin from dead erythrocytes;


process of making red blood cells


process of making any blood cell;
aka hematopoiesis


white blood cell (WBC); defend body by:
1. Defend against pathogen invasion
2. Remove toxins and wastes
3. Attack abnormal cells
formed in red bone marrow or lymph tissue;
normal count: 5,000-9,000 cells/mm3

differential count

count of each type of white blood cell (leukocyte) in stained blood smear;
determines abnormailities or *changes in WBC populations, due to:
infections, inflammation, allergy, and cancer*


most abundant WBC;
population increases exponentially in acute infection;


phagocyte WBC;
engulfs antibodies linked to antigens;
populations increase in allergic conditions


WBC which releases histamine and heparin;
aka mast cells, when in tissue;
populations increase in chronic inflammation & infection


anticoagulating protein, which slows clotting;
released in response to injury


vasodilating protein, released after injury or allergy;
increases blood vessel permeability, which leads to fluid accumulating in tissue (edema), compressing nerves (pain), warmth, and redness;
attracts lymphocytes


largest phagocytic WBC;
aka macrophage


1 of 3 types of WBC (B-/T-/NK-lymphocyte)providing specific immunity (B & T) and some innate immunity (NK);
smallest WBCs;
25% of total WBC population

B lymphocyte

differentiates in bone;
makes antibodies;
aka plasma cell

T lymphocyte

differentiates in thymus;
performs cell-mediated immunity

4 inflammation signs



cell fragment involved in blood clotting;
aka thrombocyte;
forms platelet plug to temporarily plug tears in blood vessel;
250,000-500,000 platelets/mm3


blood clumping or bacteria clumping, due to antibodies sticking to each other

vitamin K

essential nutrient involved in blood clotting process;
vitamin "Klot"


specialist treating diseases and disorders of blood and associated tissues

blood type

identifies which cell-surface protein(s) are on RBCs;
4 main classes: A, B, O, Rh-factor


any substance (toxin, cell-surface protein) that stimulates production of antibodies;
anything body may recognize as foreign


protein released by B-lymphocytes in response to antigen; antibody sticks to antigen;
antibody signals phagocytic eosinophils


cell-surface protein that may be recognized as an antigen, similar to A and B

crossmatching and typing

test for compatibility of blood transfusions

type O negative

universal blood donor; aka O-
RBCs have none of the main antigens (A, B, or Rh), so recipient should not create antibodies and reject the blood

type AB positive

universal blood receiver; aka AB+
RBCs have all major antigens, thus recipient does not recognize any additional antigens in any type of blood (A+, A-, B+, B-, AB-, AB+, O-, or O+)


percentage of packed red blood cells in a given volume of blood;
aka packed cell volume;
≈45% ± 8%


separating whole blood into plasma & formed elements for clinical analysis using a centrifuge;


blood stem cell from which all other types of blood cell are descended.
"mother" of blood cells

average blood volume

adult: 5L
adult ♀: 4-5 L
adult ♂: 5-6 L

3 blood characteristics

1. Hot (38°C (100.4°F) is normal temperature
2. Thick (high viscosity)
3. Basic (Slightly alkaline pH [7.4 ± 0.05])


puncture of a vein to remove blood, inject a medication / dye, or start an intravenous infusion

red bone marrow

hemopoietic tissue that manufactures formed elements (all RBCs, many WBCs, platelets); located within spongy bone of all child and some adult bones


hormone secreted by kidneys that stimulates red blood cell production;
secreted when low O2 (hypoxia), often due to disease or altitude;
aka erythropoiesis-stimulating hormone
aka EPO


cessation of bleeding;
3 phases:
vascular, platelet, coagulation
followed by platelet retraction of blood vessel & fibrinolysis

vascular phase

1st hemostasis step:
blood vessel contracts;
membrane becomes sticky & hormones released

platelet phase

2nd hemostasis step:
platelets adhere to vessel and
platelets aggregate together forming a platelet plug

coagulation phase

3rd hemostasis step:
blood clotting enzyme chain reaction, ending with fibrinogen converted into fibrin

clot retraction

after coagulation, platelets contract pulling torn blood vessel together


blood-clot dissolving;
tissue-plasminogen activator converts plasminogen → plasmin, which digests fibrin strands of clot


four-chambered muscular organ, that pumps oxygen-poor blood to pulmonary circulation (lungs) and oxygen-rich blood to systemic circulation (body)

pulmonary circulation

portion of circulatory system that sends blood to, and receives blood from, the lungs

systemic circulation

portion of circulatory system that sends blood to, and receives blood from, the body


double-layered serous membrane surrounding heart

visceral pericardium

serous membrane on the surface of heart muscle;
aka epicardium

parietal pericardium

tough, fibrous serous membrane lining the thoracic cavity, posterior to ribs and sternum

pericardial fluid

serous fluid between parietal & visceral pericardium; reduces friction when heart beats


outer layer of heart tissue made of serous membrane;
aka visceral pericardium;
coronary blood vessels found here


middle and largest layer of heart,
made of cardiac muscle;


thick muscular wall separating blood from one side of heart from the other;
(eg, interatrial and interventricular)


innermost heart layer;
includes the smooth endothelium


innermost lining of blood vessels;
very smooth so blood can flow with minimal friction against vessel walls

right atrium

upper right chamber of heart;
receives de-O2 blood from body via inferior and superior vena cava;
pumps blood through tricuspid valve to right ventricle

right ventricle

lower right chamber of heart;
receives de-O2 blood from right atrium (through tricuspid valve);
pumps blood to lungs via pulmonary valve

left atrium

upper left chamber of heart;
receives O2 blood from lungs via pulmonary veins;
pumps blood through bicuspid/mitral valve to left ventricle

left ventricle

lower left chamber of heart; largest & thickest chamber;
receives O2 blood from left atrium (through bicuspid/mitral valve);
pumps blood to body via aortic valve

superior vena cava

drains blood from head, neck, arms & chest into top of right atrium

inferior vena cava

drains blood from abdominopelvic regions, back and legs into bottom of right atrium

tricuspid valve

one-way valve between right atrium & right ventricle;
aka right atrioventricular valve (right AV valve)

bicuspid valve

one-way valve between left atrium & left ventricle;
aka mitral valve
aka left atrioventricular valve (left AV valve)

atrioventricular valve

one-way valve between atrium and ventricle; prevent blood backflow;
AV valves: tricuspid [R] & bicuspid (mitral) [L]

pulmonary valve

one-way valve between right ventricle & pulmonary trunk;
aka pulmonic valve;
1 of 2 "semilunar" valves

aortic valve

one-way valve between left ventricle & aorta;


1 of 2 thin-walled upper chambers of the heart;
receive blood into heart & pumps it through AV valves into ventricles


1 of 2 thick-walled lower chambers of the heart;
receive blood from atria & pumps it out of heart to body or lungs

heart blood flow

IVC/SVC→RA→tricuspid→RV→pulmonary valve →p. trunk→p. arteries→LUNGS→p. veins→LA→bicuspid→LV→aortic valve→aorta→BODY

semilunar valve

one-way valve between ventricle and vessel; prevent blood backflow;
pulmonary [R] & aortic [L]

chordae tendinae

tendon-like, fibrous strands connecting
AV valves of the heart with papillary muscles in ventricles, holding valves in place

cardiac cycle

complete cycle from start of one heartbeat to the next;
includes atrial systole & diastole and then ventricular systole & diastole


contraction of myocardium;
higher pressure on blood


relaxation of myocardium;
lower blood pressure

heart sounds

created by closure of heart valves:
AV valves slam first, causing loud sound;
semilunars slam second, making quieter heart sound


abnormal heart sound

cardiac conduction system

network of myocardial cells specialized to generate & conduct electrical signals through the heart;
upon elecetrical signal, muscle cells contract

conduction pathway

SA node→AV node→AV bundle→bundle branches→cardiac fibers

sinoatrial node

"pacemaker" node of conduction system in upper RA;
initates spreading electrical signals (approx 60-72 per min)
aka SA node

atrioventricular node

second node of conduction system between atria & ventricles; spreads electrical signal to AV bundle;
aka AV node

atrioventricular bundle

specialized muscle fibers connecting AV node to bundle branches, transmitting impulses between them;
aka bundle of His

bundle branches

electrical signal travels from AV bundle travel through these branches then to cardiac fibers throughout ventricles

Purkinje fibers

fibers from bundle branches that spread throughout ventricles carry electrical impulses, causing them to contract


record of electrical activity of heart;
if abnormal, may indicate heart disease;
aka ECG or EKG

P wave

first, small wave on an EKG;
indicative of electrical activity in atria (atrial systole)

QRS complex

second, large wave on an EKG (spike down, up, & down);
indicative of depolarizing electrical activity in ventricles (ventricular systole & DEpolarization)

T wave

third, small wave on an EKG;
indicative of electrical activity in ventricles subsiding;
(ventricular diastole or REpolarizing )


irregular heart beat


abnormally slow heart rate


abnormally fast heart rate


abdormal blood condition of deficient oxygen


central region of thoracic cavity, containing aorta, esophagus, trachea, bronchial tubes, and thymus


pointed part of an organ;
ex heart or lung

cadiac output

amount of blood heart pumps in 1 minute;
average = 5000 mL/min;
equals heart rate multipled by stroke volume;
CO = HR x SV

heart rate

number of heart beats per minute;
average = 72 beats/min

stroke volume

amount of blood ejected by heart per conctraction;
average = 70 mL/beat

vascular system

consists of arteries, veins, and capillaries, through which blood circulates

heart blood flow

IVC/SVC→RA→tricuspid→RV→pulmonary valve →p. trunk→p. arteries→LUNGS→p. veins→LA→bicuspid→LV→aortic valve→aorta→BODY


cavity or passage in a tubular organ
(ie, through which blood flows)


smaller, thick-walled vessels carrying high-pressure blood AWAY from heart;
all arteries carry O2-blood (red), except pulmonary artery


small branch off an artery


microscopic vessels connecting arterioles to venules;
where material exchange occurs (eg, gas, nutrients) via diffusion, osmosis, & filtration;
often only 1-cell thick


small branches into a vein


larger, thin-walled vessels carrying low-pressure blood IN to heart;
1-way valves & skeletal muscles help return blood to heart;
all veins carry de-O2-blood (blue), except pulmonary vein

tunica adventitia

outer layer of blood vessel;
fibrous connective tissue;
aka tunica externa

tunica externa

outer layer of blood vessel;
fibrous connective tissue;
aka tunica adventitia

tunica media

middle layer of blood vessel;
smooth muscle tissue;
thicker in arteries than veins

tunica intima

inner layer of blood vessel;
smooth endothelium and underlying connective tissue;
aka tunica interna

tunica interna

inner layer of blood vessel;
smooth endothelium and underlying connective tissue;
aka tunica intima


smooth, innermost lining of blood vessels

cardiopulmonary circulation

heart pumps de-O2 blood to lungs & receives O2 blood from lungs;
RV→pulm. valve.→pulm. trunk→pulm arteries→LUNGS→pulm. veins→LA

systemic circulation

heart pumps O2 (oxihemoglobin), nutrients, water, hormones & wastes to and from all organ systems;
LA→aortic valve→aorta→BODY→IVC/SVC→RA


largest artery in body;
attached to left ventricle;
parts: ascending, arch, descending (thoracic and abdominal)

coronary artery

1 of 2 arteries, which branch off base of ascending aorta;
provde O2-rich blood to myocardium

pulmonary trunk

artery carrying blood from right ventricle;
branches into L&R pulmonary arteries

brachiocephalic artery

first artery branching off aortic arch;
further divides into right common carotid and right subclavian artery

common carotid artery

1 of 2 arteries (L & R), which
branch off either brachiocephalic (R) or artic arch (L);
provide blood to entire head;
further divides into internal and external carotid arteries

internal carotid artery

1 of 2 arteries (L & R), which
branch off common carotid arteries;
provide blood to brain

external carotid artery

1 of 2 arteries (L & R), which
branch off common carotid arteries;
provide blood to face, head, & neck

right subclavian artery

branched off of the brachiocephalic;
courses beneath clavicle towards armpit to become axillary artery;
branches off a vertebral artery (to brain)

vertebral artery

1 of 2 arteries that branch off subclavian arteries, then course up vertebrae into brain

left common carotid artery

second branch off aortic arch;
provides blood to neck & head;
further divides into internal and external carotid arteries

left subclavian artery

third branch off aortic arch;
courses beneath clavicle towards armpit to become axillary artery;
branches off a vertebral artery (to brain)

lower thoracic aorta

superior part of descending aorta, which supplies blood to chest organs
(eg, lungs, diaphragm, esophagus, chest muscles)

abdominal aorta

inferior part of descending aorta (beneath diphragm), which supplies blood to abdominal organs;
branches into L & R common iliac arteries

common iliac artery

1 of 2 arteries (L & R) that branch off the end of descending aorta; course into pelvis, then branches into internal and external iliac arteries


blood vessel tightening, which decreases diameter, or size of lumen;
also increases blood pressure
smooth muscle in tunica media contracts


blood vessel relaxes, which increases lumen size;
also decreases blood pressure
smooth muscle in tunica media relaxes;
aka vasodilatation

jugular vein

one of the veins that collect blood from head: brain (L&R internal), face (L&R external), and chin (anterior);
all flow into the brachiocephalic veins, which connect to SVC

great saphenous vein

longest vein in body;
drains blood from foot, leg, and thigh;
joins with femoral vein

coronary sinus

vein that returns de-O2 blood from heart to RA

hepatic portal circulation

liver blood vessels that connect two capillary beds: arteries→caps→portal vein→caps→hepatic vein

fetal circulation

special vessels and circulation present in fetus;
includes de-O2 blood in umbilical arteries coursing to placenta, and O2 nutrient-rich blood via umbilical veins


vascular uterine structure conected to fetus via umbilical cord;
providing O2 and nutrients to fetus and removes wastes from fetus

blood flow

affected by:
1. blood pressure differences
2. friction (with vessel & cells)
3. blood viscosity (thickness)
4. length and diameter of blood vessels

systolic pressure

higher arterial pressure caused by ventricular contraction;
top number in blood pressure reading

pulse pressure

difference between systolic pressure and diastolic pressure;
Pulse = (systolic) - (diastolic)

diastolic pressure

lower arterial pressure during ventricular relaxation;
bottom number in blood pressure reading


any mechanical force that slows or opposes motion; resistance opposes pressure;
smaller blood vessels have higher resistance;
larger blood vessels have lower resistance


force pushing on an area or surface;
in blood, pressure must overcome resistance for blod to flow (circulate)

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