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Erythrocyte (red blood cell)

Red blood cell that transports oxygen and carbon dioxide within the bloodstream; lack nuclei and mitochondria; life cycle about 120 days, hemoglobin broken down into heme and globin, bilirubin and biliverdin excreted in bile


White blood cell that protects the body from invasion of harmful substances by phagocytosis.


White blood cell with numerous dark-staining granules: eosinophil, neutrophil, and basophil.


The chief phagocytic leukocyte, most numerous type, multilobed.


A granular leukocyte, named for the rose-color stain of its granules, that increases with allergy and some infections (parasitic); bi-lobed.


a granular leukocyte, named for the dark stain of its granules, that brings anticoagulant substances to inflamed tissues; least numerous of the leukocytes, appear dark purple.


A group of leukocytes without granules in their nuclei. Two types, Lymphocytes and Monocytes.


An agranulocytic leukocyte that normally makes up a quarter of the white blood cell count but increases in the presence of infection; large, spherical nuclei, second most numerous type of leukocyte.


The largest leukocyte, which has one U or horseshoe shaped nucleus, third most numerous type of leukocyte; phagocytize material


Tiny, disk-shaped fragments in the blood, important in blood clot formation.


Any substance (as a toxin or enzyme) that stimulates the production of antibodies.


Blood serum containing antibodies against specific antigens.


A substance produced by the body that destroys or inactivates an antigen that has entered the body.

Universal Donor

A person with blood type O-. Because this person's red blood cells possess none of the typical blood suface proteins, they cannot initiate an immune reaction in a recipient.

Universal Recipient

A person with type AB blood who can recieve any blood because AB has no antibodies.

Fibrous Pericardium

Tough, white, fibrous, dense, irregular connective tissue that is the outer layer of the pericardium; anchors heart to the surrounding structures and prevents it from overfilling.

Serous Pericardium

Internal double-layered sac of the pericardium composed parietal pericardium (outer) and visceral pericardium. Inside the fibrous pericardium.

Parietal Pericardium

The tough outermost layer of the serous pericardium that is attached to the diaphragm and the sternum; functionally fused to the fibrous pericardium.

Visceral Pericardium (epicardium)

The innermost of the two layers of the serous pericardium; attached to the heart muscle. Also known as the epicardium.


Thick middle muscle layer of the heart; pumps blood through the circulatory system; consists of cardiac muscle and its' fibrous skeleton.


The membrane that lines the cavities of the heart and forms part of the heart valves; is a type of simple squamous epithelium called endothelium.

Atria (right & left)

The two upper chambers of the heart- the receiving areas that pool incoming blood from the body's veins.

Ventricles (right & left)

The two lower chambers of the heart-the shipping areas that send blood on its way through arteries to the body.

Tricuspid valve

Located between the right atrium and the right ventricle. Closes when the right ventricle contracts, allowing blood flow into the lungs and preventing backflow into the right atrium.

Bicuspid (mitral) valve

A valve in the heart that guards the opening between the left atrium and the left ventricle that prevents the blood in the ventricle from returning to the atrium.

Pulmonary valve

Valve positioned between the right ventricle and the pulmonary trunk; Prevents blood from flowing back into the right ventricle after it has entered the pulmonary artery.

Aortic valve

The valve between the left ventricle and the aorta, prevents blood from flowing back into the left ventricle after it has entered the aorta.

Chordae tendineae

Strong, fibrous cords that connect papillary muscles to the cusps of atrioventricular valves; they prevent backward flow of blood during ventricular contraction.

Papillary muscles

Responsible for pulling the atrioventricular valves closed by means of the chordae tendineae; pulls them taut which puts tension on the cusps.

Superior vena cava

Receives deoxygenated blood from the head and arms and chest and empties into the right atrium of the heart.

Inferior vena cava

Receives deoxygenated blood from lower limbs and abdominal organs and empties into the posterior part of the right atrium of the heart.

Location of heart

Posterior to sternum, medial to lungs, anterior to vertebral column, base lies beneath 2nd rib, apex at 5th intercostal space, lies upon diaphragm


Condition in which fatty deposits called plaque build up on the inner walls of the arteries.


Thickening and hardening of the walls of the arteries, can also decrease the blood supply to the brain and cause a decrease in mental abilities

Atrial systole

Contract. Most blood has already flowed passively to the ventricles, atria both contract to force the last of the blood (30%) out into ventricles

Ventricular diastole

Second heart sound; Ventricular relaxation; semilunar valves closed, AV valves open

Ventricular systole

First heart sound; Time when ventricles are contracting and atria are relaxed; triggered by ventricular depolarization; as contraction begins, cuspid valve closes and pressure rises in ventricles; once pressure is higher than the exiting vessels, ventricular ejection occurs and blood is forced out through semilunar valves; 70ml of blood exits, while 60ml remains in the ventricle

Atrial diastole

Atrial relaxation; AV valves closed, semilunar valves open

Syncytium (atrial & ventricular)

A groups of cells that functions as a unit.

SA Node

The pace-maker of the heart; where the impulse conduction of the heart usually starts; located in the top of the right atrium

AV Node

Picks up electrical impulse from the SA node and causes ventricles to contract, causing blood to move into arteries

AV Bundle

Receives signals from the AV node sends them to the punkinje fibres in ventricles

Purkinje fibers

Fibers in the ventricles that transmit impulses to the right and left ventricles, causing them to contract


A record of the electrical activity (ability to conduct impulses) of the heart that, if abnormal, may indicate heart disease


Blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart; thick strong wall, endothelial lining, middle layer of smooth muscle and elastic tissue, has ability to stretch, outer layer of connective tissue, carries blood under relatively high pressure


Small vessels that receive blood from the arteries and carries blood to capillaries; endothelial lining, only smooth muscle fibers


The smallest blood vessels which connect the smallest arteries with the smallest veins. Nourishment and fluid noramlly trapped in thick walled arteries and veins can easily pass through the delicate walls (endothelium only) of the capillaries


Small blood vessels that gather blood from the capillaries into the veins


Blood vessels that carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart


Blood vessel that directly connects arteriole and venule

Precapillary sphincter

Controls flow into capillary network, maintains both arterial pressure and regulates regional flow

Blood pressure

The pressure of the circulating blood against the walls of the blood vessels

Systolic pressure

The blood pressure (as measured by a sphygmomanometer) during the contraction of the left ventricle of the heart; maxium pressure

Diastolic pressure

The blood pressure during that part of the heartbeat when the heart's ventricles are relaxing; minimum pressure

Central venous pressure

Venous blood pressure within the right atrium that influences the pressure in the large peripheral veins.


Thin-walled microscopic air sacs in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place


A glycoprotein secreted by the kidneys (and liver?) that stimulates the production of red blood cells


Condition in which blood lacks red corpuscles; types: aplastic, hemolytic, iron deficiency, pernicious, sickle cell disease, and thalassemia

White blood cells

Leukocytes; interleukins and colony stimulating factors stimulate development;


Leukocytes squeeze between the cells of a capillary wall, they must leave blood vessel to go to site of damage

Blood plasma

The liquid component of blood, 55% of blood, in which the blood cells are suspended. It is composed of mostly water (92%), and contains dissolved proteins, glucose, clotting factors, mineral ions, hormones and carbon dioxide

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