BI 231 - Human Physiology and Anatomy
Heart, Blood flow, and EKG Study Guide

Compiled by Pat Bowne, Sherry Dollhopf,and Justin LaManna, 2007-11


Cardiac muscle is very different from skeletal and smooth muscle; it fires by itself. But if all the muscle cells in the heart fired whenever they wanted to, the heart beat would not effectively move blood through the body. What controls the sequence of contractions in the heart, and how can it be measured? What controls the direction of blood flow through the body, and why are the arteries and veins different?

Before class, make sure you:

Can explain the ionic events in cardiac muscle firing

Can explain how the autonomic nervous system affects heart rate

Tutorials and reading assignment:

Review the path of blood flow through the heart and body at

Chapter 13 , pages 405-409, 418-436

What you should know for the assessment:

Heart structures and blood flow

Be able to draw and label the different heart chambers

Identify the heart valves

Be able to draw the path of blood flow through the heart and body

Explain the differences between the pulmonary and systemic circuit, and which side of the heart pumps blood through which circuit

Explain the different structure and functions of arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins

PREDICT the results of left- and right-sided heart failure

EXPLAIN how smooth muscle in the arterioles controls blood flow to the tissues (perfusion)

Heart electrical system

Draw and explain the electrical system of the heart

TRACE the path of electrical impulses through the heart and tell how they relate to the peaks of the EKG

Be able to label an EKG as a normal sinus, sinus bradycardia, or sinus tachycardia.

Heart and cardiac cycle terms to memorize

Practice Questions

ANSWER questions 1-9 on page 447

In a disease called idiopathic pulmonary hypertension, the arterioles in the lungs constrict. This leads to failure of one side of the heart. Which side will fail, and why?

Practice question with example answer

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