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Learning objectives

Describe the histology of the heart (cardiac

Describe the structure of the blood vessels.
Histology of heart
Muscle tissue types

Heart [CARDIA]

3 layers:
Function & subdivisions
Responsible for the transport &
homeostatic distribution of oxygen,
nutrients, wastes, body fluids & solutes,
body heat, & immune system components.
Two subsystems:-
Cardiovascular system
Lymphatic vascular system.
Cardiac muscle cells

Central,ovoid nuclei
Mitochondria numerous
Less SR
Fewer T tubules
A band-dark band
I band-light band
Z disc
H zone
Cardiac muscle
Long, branched cells with one or two ovoid
central nuclei.
Sarcoplam near the nuclear poles contains
many mitochondria & glycogen granules & some
lipofuscin pigment.
Mitochondria lies in chains between the
Arrangement of myofilaments yields striations.

Intercalated discs is an unique histological

feature of cardiac muscle.
Cardiac muscle-Low magnification
Cardiac muscle- High magnification
Cardiac muscle Clinical importance

Rheumatic fever caused by streptococcal

infection may lead to rheumatic heart disease
causing inflammation of all 3 layers of heart but
serious complication is an effect on endocardium
covering left side of heart leading to mitral
insufficiency and aortic stenosis.
Cardiovascular system
Four types of
components :
Types of cardiac muscle fibres
Atrial cardiac muscle:-
Are small & have fewer T tubules than
ventricular cells.
They contain many small membrane limited
granules of precursors of atrial natriuretic factor,
a hormone secreted in response to increased
blood volume that opposes action of aldosterone
& acts on kidney to cause sodium & water loss.
Ventricular myocytes :-
Are larger cells with more T tubules & no
Homologous to the intima of the vessels
Inner most layer is the endothelium under laid by
a thin, continuous basal lamina.
Surrounding this is layer of subendothelial
connective tissue with elastic fibers & some
smooth muscle cells.
Subendocardium is a layer of areolar tissue with
small blood vessels, nerves & in the ventricles,
branches of impulse conducting system.
Is the middle layer
Layer consists of cardiac muscle fibres each cardiac
muscle fibre is surrounded by an endomysium & each
fascicle of fibres is surrounded by perimysium.
Atrial cardiac muscle is arranged in overlapping
networks, giving the inner appearance of woven
bundles of muscle (musculi pectinati).
Ventricular cardiac muscle forms complex layers of
cells wound helically around the ventricular cavity.
Superficial fibres surround both the ventricles,
whereas the deeper muscle layers surround each
ventricle & contribute to the IVSeptum.
Is visceral pericardium
The outer most tunic.
Consists of a single layer of squamous
mesothelial cells.
A thin basal lamina.
A layer of subepicardial connective tissue
(areolar) that binds the epicardium to the
Cardiac skeleton
Dense fibrous connective tissue scaffolding into which
cardiac muscle fibres insert & from which the cardiac
valves extend is the cardiac skeleton.
Three major components :-
Annuli fibrosae - rings of dense connective tissue
that surround and reinforce the valve openings in the
atrioventricular canals & at the origins of the aorta &
pulmonary artery
Trigona fibrosae two triangular dense connective
tissue masses, between two groups of annuli fibrosae.
Septum membranaceum a dense fibrous plate
forming the top of otherwise Muscular interventricular
Wall of the blood & lymphatic
Typically having three
concentric layers.
Tunica intima innermost
Tunica media middle layer
Tunica adventitia outermost
Local weakening of vessel walls
cause out pocketing of the
wall aneurysm
Structure of blood vessel
Wall of the blood vessels have 3 layers
Tunica intima, tunica media and tunica adventitia
Tunica intima:
Inner most and very thin layer when compared to other 2
Contains 3 layers
One layer of flat squamous cells
Subendothelial connective tissue
Thin connective tissue layer containing collagen and
elastic fibres
Internal elastic lamina
Thin layer made up of elastic fibres
Separates tunica intima from the media
Well developed in the arteries
Tunica media:
Middle layer made up of smooth muscle fibres, elastic
and collagen fibres
Outer part of media contains external elastic lamina
External elastic lamina is a layer of elastic fibres,
separates tunica media from the adventitia
External elastic lamina is well developed in the arteries
Tunica adventitia:
Outermost, connective tissue layer made up of collagen
and elastic fibres
Contains small arteries and veins (vasa vasora) which
supply the tunica adventitia and media of the blood
Connective tissue of this layer blends with connective
tissue surrounding the blood vessel
Classification of arteries

1.Elastic, large or conducting arteries Largest

diameter arteries in the body.
2.Muscular or medium sized arteries.
3.Small arteries.
Classification of arteries
Elastic, Large or conducting arteries
Largest diameter arteries in the body.

Conduct blood away from the heart.

Important in maintaining constant pressure

in arterial system
Elastic arteries
Tunica intima thicker than in muscular arteries.
Endothelial cells of all vessels larger than capillaries
contain rod like Weibel - Palade bodies that store
components of factor VIII. Endothelium rests on thin
basal lamina.Internal elastic lamina may be present
between intima & media, but hard to distinguish because
of abundant elastin fibres in media.
Tunica media contains abundant elastin as
concentrically arranged interspersed with smooth muscle
Tunica adventitia thin relative to vessel diameter,
contains elastic & type I collagen fibres.
e.g. aorta, brachiocephalic, carotid arteries.
Elastic artery Clinical importance

An aneurysm is an
abnormal dilatation in the
weakened wall of an artery.
Aortic aneurysm occurs
when the diameter of part
of aorta increases and a
true aneurysm consists of
all the 3 tunics.
Atherosclerosis is a major
cause of most aortic
Muscular or distributing arteries
Tunica intima - Contains typical endothelium &
subendothelial connective tissue. Prominent
internal elastic lamina appears as wavy,
refractile line between intima & media.
Tunica media - Thick , Up to 40 layers of smooth
muscle. Collagen, elastic fibres & proteoglycan
Tunica adventitia - Relatively thin & contains
mostly collagen fibres.
Large veins
Largest diameter veins in the body.
Tunica intima - Well developed & include thick
layer of subendothelial connective tissue.
Extensions of intima protrude into lumens of
large veins as valves.
Tunica media several layers of smooth muscle
cells & abundant reticular & collagen fibres.
Elastin is sparse.
Tunica adventitia best developed in large veins
contains abundant collagen & longitudinal
bundles of smooth muscle that strengthen vessel
to prevent distension.
Large vein Clinical importance

Varicose veins - abnormal

dilated,tortuous veins due
to increased intra luminal
pressure or decreased
support in vein walls.
Varicose veins may rupture
and cause hemorrhage.
Serious complication is
deep vein thrombosis lead
to pulmonary embolism.
Small & medium sized veins
Narrower than large veins & have thin walls
e.g.- saphenous, hepatic, portal etc.
Tunica intima -Typical endothelium, less
subendothelial tissue. fewer valves than large
veins, no internal elastic lamina.
Tunica media -Thin relative to vessel diameter.
Few elastic fibres.
Tunica adventitia - Relatively thick, but unlike
large veins contains little of any muscle. Mostly
Medium sized vein & artery
Cardiac muscle

Striated muscle, shows branching pattern.

Involuntary muscle.
Uni nucleated, centrally placed ovoid
Presence of intercalated disc.

Elastic artery -Prominent elastic fibres in the

tunica media.Vaso vasorum in the tunica
Muscular artery - Prominent smooth muscle in
the tunica media. Internal & external elastic
lamina are clearly seen.

Large vein Smooth muscle present in the

tunica adventitia.
Medium sized vein 3 layers.
Any Questions ?
Thank you