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Functions of the Circulatory System

The body's means of transporting a continuous supply of oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and antibodies throughout the body, while carbon dioxide and other cellular waste are being removed from the body. This system maintains a balance between intracellular and extracellular fluids.

Pulmonary Circulation

The first of two pathways that circulates blood through the heart to the lungs, and back to the heart

Systemic Circulation

The second pathway, carries the blood from the aorta to the smallest blood vessels and back to the heart

Main Components of the Circulatory System

Include the heart, blood vessels( arteries, veins, and capillaries) and blood

The Heart

A pump that circulates the blood throughout the body, triangular shaped muscular organ that is approximately the size of a fist, The heart is covered in three layers


The outer layer that is composed of a double -walled sac


The second layer, a tough muscular wall


A thin lining on the inside of the heart


A wall divides the heart into right and left chambers

Atria/ Auricles

Each half (a wall) is divided again into upper chambers


Each half (a wall) the lower chambers

Heart Valves

Four--- Regulate the flow of blood in one directon

Vena Cava

The blood comes into the heart through large blood vessels called the vena cava

Tricuspid Valve

From the superior and inferior vena cava blood enters the right atrium and is then pumped through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle

Pulmonary Valve

From the tricuspid valve, it then goes to the pulmonary valve, into the pulmonary artery, which carries the blood to the lungs to get rid of waste and gases, and picks up fresh oxygen.

Mitral (Bicuspid) Valve

From the lungs, the blood is carried by the pulmonary vein to the left atrium, and then through the Mitral Valve into the left ventricle and then into the aortic valve.

Aortic Valve

Into the aorta to be distributed to all parts of the body


Carry oxygenated blood away from the heart to the capillaries of the tissues, the walls of arteries are tough and composed of three layers to withstand the pressure


The largest artery, recieves blood directly from the heart


The smallest arteries


Carry blood that has drained from the capillaries back to the heart. Walls of veins are also three layers, but much thinner and less muscular. Within the inner layer are folds that form valves that keep the blood flowing to the heart


The connection between arteries and veins. The exchange between blood and body cells occurs in teh capillaries. Here blood and oxygen

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