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Movement of body fluids inside the body of animals to transport materials from the region of formation to the region of utilization or disposal is known as CIRCULATION. System of vessels and heart through which blood flows in an animal is called Circulatory System William Harvey (1628) who discovered blood circulation including pumping activity of the heart.

Parts of Circulatory System

Blood: It consisting of fluid plasma and free cells or blood corpuscles. Heart: Attached with muscular walls that contract periodically to pump the blood through the body. Arteries and Veins: A system of blood vessels and capillaries through which the fluid blood moves.

Medical Terms related to Circulation

Angio-logy: Study of Blood Vascular System including Arteries, Veins, and Heart. Cardio-logy: Study of heart and its functioning. Hemato-logy: Study of formation, composition, functions and diseases of blood.

Types of Circulatory System

1). Open Circulatory System:
it is seen in many invertebrates (leeches, ARTHROPODS: cockroaches, insects spiders butterflies, MOLLUSCS: jelly fish, snails, slugs and ascidians). Blood is pumped by the heart into a vessel which opens into the open fluid spaces called SINUSES so that the tissues are bathed by the blood which is known as HAEMO-LYMPH. From the sinus the blood is carried by the veins to the heart. There are no inter connecting vessels or capillaries between the arteries and the veins, as the blood comes out of blood vessels. Such system is called OPEN CIRCULATORY SYSTEM.

Characteristics of Open Circulatory System

1) The blood flows at a very low velocity & at low pressure due to the absence of smooth muscles. 2) There is direct exchange of materials between the cells & the blood because of the direct contact between them. 3) The respiratory pigment, when present, is dissolved in the plasma of the blood and there are no red corpuscles.

Figure of Circulatory System

2). Closed Circulatory System:

Such type of circulatory system is seen in annelids, Cephalopods, holothurians and in all Vertebrates including man. Blood is carried through a system of elastic tubes-arteries, capillaries and veins. The blood remains inside the blood vessels and does not come out. The blood returns to the heart without actually leaving this system of blood vessels. Since blood remains in this closed system it is known as CLOSED CIRCULATORY SYSTEM. There are 3 types of closed circulatory system: 2 chambered heart (fish) / 3 chambered heart (amphibians & reptiles) / 4 chambered heart (man)

Characteristics of Closed Circulatory System

1) The speed of circulation is more rapid due to the presence of muscular and contractile blood vessels. 2) The supply and removal of materials to and from the tissues by the blood is enhanced, thereby increasing the efficiency of circulation. 3) The volume of blood flowing through a tissue or organ is regulated by the contraction and relaxation of the muscles of the blood vessels.

Functions of Blood
1). Transportation: Transport O2 & CO2 between respiratory organs and tissues. Transport H2O & digested food from the digestive tract to other organs. Transport stored food from one organ / tissue to other target tissue or organ. Transport metabolic wastes, excess minerals in solution and excess water to the excretory organs. Transport hormones from the glands where they are produced to the places of use in the body. Transport antibodies for immunity or defense against foreign bodies, to maintain normal health and protection from infection. 2). Regulation: It regulates the pH of the tissues by means of buffers. 3). Maintenance: It maintains the H2O balance between the tissues and excretory system. It serves to maintain the temperature of the entire body within close limits.

Structure of Heart
The heart is about the size of a fist & lies in the thoracic cavity. The human heart has a mass of between 250 - 350 grams . It is a muscular organ covered by a tough fibrous membrane the pericardium. The pericardium consists of an outer, tough fibrous pericardium, which attaches to the diaphragm & also to the great vessels of the heart & an inner, delicate serous pericardium which is double membrane composed of an outer parietal layer & an inner visceral layer. Between this 2 layers is pericardial cavity filled with serous fluid or pericardial fluid which acts as lubricant & shock absorber & protects the heart from being damage. The wall of the heart has 3 layers: the outer EPI-CARDIUM, the middle MYO-CARDIUM & the inner ENDO-CARDIUM.

External Structure of Heart

External Structure
Divided into 4 chambers: upper 2 auricles / atria & lower 2 ventricles 2 left chambers are separated from the 2 right by a partition fibrous in nature called atrial partition / inter-atrial septum Partition separating 2 ventricles is known as interventricular septum, its upper part is fibrous and lower part is muscular The Aorta arises from the left ventricle carrying oxygenated blood to the tissues The pulmonary trunk arises from the right ventricle which is less muscular than left carrying deoxygenated blood to the lungs.

The 3 veins (inferior + superior vena cava and coronary sinus) open into the right atrium bringing venous blood or deoxygenated blood from the lungs. The 4 chambers of the heart perform 4 different functions. The left ventricles pumps oxygenated blood to the tissues. In tissues, oxygen in the blood is used up and the blood becomes deoxygenated. The deoxygenated blood is brought back to the heart through veins which open into the right atrium. It is then pumped into right ventricle, then into the lungs through pulmonary trunk Blood inside the lungs becomes re-oxygenated and is returned to the left atrium through the pulmonary veins From it then enters the left ventricle to be pumped out in the circulation again.

Internal structure of Heart

Internal Structure
Left and right auricles / atria are separated by interatrial / inter-auricular septum A depression on this septum is called Fossa Ovalis An opening called Foramen Ovale is present in this area during foetal stage Right auricle receives deoxygenated blood from 1). Superior Vena Cava which brings blood from the upper part of body, 2). Inferior Vena Cava which brings blood from middle part and lower part 3). Coronary Sinus which brings blood from heart walls.

Opening of the coronary sinus is regulated by Thebasius valve and the opening of inferior vena cava is regulated by Eustachius valve Left Auricles receives oxygenated blood from lungs through 4 pulmonary veins L. + R. ventricles are separated by an Inter-Ventricular Septum L. ventricle is larger with extra thick walls as compared to R. ventricle as it pumps blood to all part of body The inner walls of ventricles possess a network of small & large muscular projections called Columnae Carneae & Musculie Papillares / Pappilary Muscles

The wall of R. Ventricle contains a Moderator Band that extends between upper papillary muscles and inter-ventricular septum Auricles opens into Ventricles through ArtioVentricular apertures controlled by valves The aperture between R. Auricle and R. Ventricle is guarded by TRICUSPID valve having 3 flaps The aperture between L. Auricle and L. Ventricle is guarded by BICUSPID valve / MITRAL valve having 2 flaps These valves flaps are kept in position by inelastic Chordae Tendinae connected to Papillary Muscles L. Ventricle opens into the aorta by an opening guarded by a ring of 3 semilunar valves. Similarly, R. Ventricle opens into pulmonary and through an opening guarded by a rising of semilunar valves

Average heart beat in adult human is 72 per minute. SA node / SAN (Sinu-Auricular Node): it is situated on the right wall of R. Auricle above the opening of Superior Vena Cava. It is also called the PACE-MAKER because Cardiac impulse originates here. AV-node / Auriculo-Ventricular Node): It is situated between the R. Auricle and R. Ventricle near inter-Atrial Septum. AV-node is connected to Bundle of His / AV bundle. It is also called PACE-SETTER. Purkinje Fibres: It originate from the bundle of His and enter into the walls of ventricle.

Neurogenic Heart

Myogenic Heart

Impulse for the heart Modified muscular beat comes from a nerve tissue or nodular tissue from a nearby ganglion. in heart muscles initiates the electrochemical impulse to control heart beat.

e.g. Most Arthropods e.g. Molluscs and and some Annelids Vertebrates

Patterns of Circulation
2 patterns
1). Systemic Circulation: it begins in the L. Ventricle & ends in R. Auricle 2). Pulmonary Circulation: It starts in the R. Ventricle & ends in the L. Auricle

The right half of the heart is concerned with pumping deoxygenated blood The left half of the heart is concerned with pumping of oxygenated blood. 2 sets of valves which regulate the flow of blood through the heart which prevents the back flow of blood
1). Antrio-ventricular valves: It separates the cavities of Auricle & Ventricle 2). Semilunar valves: They are present where the Pulmonary Artery leaves the R. Ventricle and the Aorta leaves the L. Ventricle.


The heart beat is the rhythmic contraction & relaxation of all the muscles of heart
1). Systole: the contraction of the heart is called Systole 2). Diastole: the relaxation of the heart is called Diastole The heart rests only during the short interval between contractions. The heart has an inbuilt capacity to contract rhythmically without any external stimulus.

Cardiac Cycle
- Event that occurs in the heart during one beat, is called heart beat. - One cardiac cycle includes auricular systole, ventricular systole and complete diastole.

Heart Sound
Each heart beat has 2 sounds, Lubb and Dubb The first heart sound marks the beginning of ventricular systole (contraction), a sound due to closure of Auriculo-Ventricular valve (AV-valve) The second indicates the end of ventricular contraction and is due to closure of semilunar valve. One heart beat is completed in about 0.8 second(one cardiac cycle) Tachycardia: It is a condition when there is an abnormally rapid heart. Bradycardia: Slowing of heart beat than the normal is called Bradycardia.

Origin of Heart Beat

In all vertebrates, heart beat is originated by the muscles (myogenic heart) called Sinu-Auricular Node (SA-Node) or pace maker

Arteries / Veins

The artery wall consists of three layers: Tunica Adventitia
the strong outer covering composed of connective tissue, collagen & elastic fibres. These fibres allow it to stretch to prevent overexpansion due to the pressure that is exerted on the walls by blood flow.

Tunica Media
the middle layer of the walls of arteries & veins. composed of smooth muscle & elastic fibres. This layer is thicker in arteries than in veins.

Tunica Intima
the inner layer of arteries & veins. composed of an elastic membrane lining & smooth endothelium (epithelial tissue) that is covered by elastic tissues.

The vein wall consists of three layers: Tunica Adventitia
the strong outer covering. composed of connective tissue collagen & elastic fibers. These fibers allow it to stretch to prevent overexpansion due to the pressure that is exerted on the walls by blood flow.

Tunica Media
the middle layer of the walls of arteries and veins. It is composed of smooth muscle & elastic fibers. This layer is thicker in arteries than in veins.

Tunica Intima
the inner layer of arteries and veins. It is composed of an elastic membrane lining & smooth endothelium (epithelial tissue) that is covered by elastic tissues. Veins do not contain the elastic membrane lining that is found in arteries. In some veins the tunica intima layer also contains valves to keep blood flowing in a single direction.


Capillaries have very thin walls comprised only of endothelial cells, which allows substances to move through the wall with ease. Capillaries are very small, measuring 5-10 micrometres in width. However, the cross-sectional area of capillaries within an average size muscle would be larger than that of the Aorta. This allows a fast and efficient transfer of oxygen-carrying red blood cells to the site where they are needed.

Vasa Vasorum

They are the vessels which supply blood to the wall of artery and veins.

Blood is the fluid Connective Tissue. Red in colour because of the presence of Hb (heame = iron). Human body contains 5-6 lits of blood. It is composed of 2 components Plasma and Blood cells / corpuscles / formed elements.

Blood Plasma
It is the fluid part of the blood. Out of 5 lits, 3.5 lits is the plasma. It consists of 90% of H2O, 7.3% proteins (albumin, globulin, fibrinogen and prothrombin) and 3% is glucose, nitrogeneous wastes, minerals, enzyme and hormones. Plasma transport gases and other minerals, maintains blood pH, body immunity, body heat regulation, and regulates the osmotic pressure of the blood.

Erythrocytes (Red Blood Corpuscles)

Erythros = Red, Cyton = cell Non-nucleated, biconcave, 7.4 um in diameter, 2 um thickness, volume is 90 um3, each RBC contains 30 ug of Hb. Avg normal RBC in Male = 5.0 - 5.5 millions and in Female = 4.5 5.0 millions, in Infant = 6.7 millions and in Feotus = 7.8 millions per cc. RBC develops in Red bone marrow of large bones hence named as Erythropoietic Organs. Life span of a RBC is about 120 days. Spleen is considered the graveyard of RBC. Abnormal rise in the total count of RBC is called polycythemia. Smallest RBC is found in Traguls (Musk Deer). Largest RBC is found in Amphiuma. Functions
Transport of respiratory gases (O2 and CO2) Hb is an excellent acid base buffer, which maintains the pH of blood.

Blood platelets
Oval to spherical in shape, 2 3 u in diameter. Nucleus is absent, no. of platelets / cmm of blood ranges from 200,000 450, 000. These are produced by the mega-karyocytes in the bone marrow and are destroyed in the spleen. These initiate blood coagulation and repair capillary endothelium.

Blood Groups
Discovered by Landsteiner. Human Blood contains certain specific substances called Antigens and Antibodies. On the basis of these, human blood can be distinguished into blood group A, B, AB and O. AB blood group is considered the universal recipient and blood group O is the universal donor. On the basis of Rh antigen blood can be distinguished into Rh+ and Rh- blood groups.

Principal Arteries
The L. Ventricle pumps oxygenated blood into a 3 cm thick vessel, called AORTA. The pulmonary aorta carries the blood from R. Ventricle to Lungs Following arteries arise from the aorta:
1). Coronary Artery to Heart wall. 2). Brachiocephalic to Head and Fore Arms. 3). Phrenic to Diaphragm. 4). Coeliac to Alimentary Canal
Gastric to Stomach Common Hepatic to Liver Splenic to Spleen

5). Renal Artery to Kidney 6). Genital Artery to Male and Female Gonads 7). Common Iliac to Hind limb

Principal Veins
The blood for anterior parts of the body is brought into SVC (superior vena cava) Similarly blood from posterior part of the body is received by PVC (posterior vena cava) or IVC (inferior vena cava) Renal vein receives blood from kidneys and carries it to IVC.

Hepatic Portal System

Portal System is a part of various system in which vein divides twice into capillaries before they join posterior or anterior vena cava. Hepatic portal system collects the nutrients from intestine by means of capillaries. Excess amount of nutrients are removed by liver, capillaries rejoin and form veins, which open into inferior vena cava.

Blood Clotting
Coagulation of blood occurs when blood oozes out from injured or cut blood vessels. Thrombokinase or thromboplastin enzyme released by blood platelets initiates the process of blood clotting. Prothrombin in the blood is present as inactive globulin. It is activated to from thrombin before coagulation of blood takes place. Coagulation initiating substances known as thromboplastins are released from clumped platelets and damaged tissues into blood. Thromoplastins speed up the formation of enzyme prothrombinase. These enzyme acts upon prothrombin and hydrolyzes it to thrombin to start the process of coagulation. Ca++ ions accelerate the thrombin formation and activate it for coagulation. After clotting of blood the transparent fluid left is know as serum. Average clotting time ranges from 3 - 5 minutes.

Heparin: It is an anticoagulant present in blood prevents activation of Prothrombin. Antithrombin: It is present in blood inhibits thrombin, if formed in blood. These factors check the coagulation of blood inside blood vessels, so blood usually does not coagulates during normal circulation. In human beings suffering from hemophilia clotting is delayed or fails.