Dissection is still used in medical schools, anatomy courses, and in pathology labs. In order to observe structures in living people, however, a number of imaging techniques have been developed.
These techniques allow clinicians to visualize structures inside the living body such as a cancerous tumor or a fractured bone. Like most scientific disciplines, anatomy has areas of specialization. Gross anatomy is the study of the larger structures of the body, those visible without the aid of magnification Figure 1 a. Microscopic anatomy includes cytology, the study of cells and histology, the study of tissues.
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As the technology of microscopes has advanced, anatomists have been able to observe smaller and smaller structures of the body, from slices of large structures like the heart, to the three-dimensional structures of large molecules in the body. Regional anatomy is the study of the interrelationships of all of the structures in a specific body region, such as the abdomen. Studying regional anatomy helps us appreciate the interrelationships of body structures, such as how muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and other structures work together to serve a particular body region.
In contrast, systemic anatomy is the study of the structures that make up a discrete body system—that is, a group of structures that work together to perform a unique body function. For example, a systemic anatomical study of the muscular system would consider all of the skeletal muscles of the body. Whereas anatomy is about structure, physiology is about function. Human physiology is the scientific study of the chemistry and physics of the structures of the body and the ways in which they work together to support the functions of life. Homeostasis is the state of steady internal conditions maintained by living things.
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The study of physiology certainly includes observation, both with the naked eye and with microscopes, as well as manipulations and measurements. However, current advances in physiology usually depend on carefully designed laboratory experiments that reveal the functions of the many structures and chemical compounds that make up the human body.
Like anatomists, physiologists typically specialize in a particular branch of physiology. For example, neurophysiology is the study of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves and how these work together to perform functions as complex and diverse as vision, movement, and thinking. Physiologists may work from the organ level exploring, for example, what different parts of the brain do to the molecular level such as exploring how an electrochemical signal travels along nerves.
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Form is closely related to function in all living things. For example, the thin flap of your eyelid can snap down to clear away dust particles and almost instantaneously slide back up to allow you to see again. At the microscopic level, the arrangement and function of the nerves and muscles that serve the eyelid allow for its quick action and retreat. At a smaller level of analysis, the function of these nerves and muscles likewise relies on the interactions of specific molecules and ions.
Even the three-dimensional structure of certain molecules is essential to their function. Your study of anatomy and physiology will make more sense if you continually relate the form of the structures you are studying to their function. In fact, it can be somewhat frustrating to attempt to study anatomy without an understanding of the physiology that a body structure supports. Imagine, for example, trying to appreciate the unique arrangement of the bones of the human hand if you had no conception of the function of the hand. The slight deviation of the apex to the left is reflected in a depression in the medial surface of the inferior lobe of the left lung, called the cardiac notch.
The Cardiovascular System (Heart and blood) | Medical Terminology for Cancer
Figure 1. The heart is located within the thoracic cavity, medially between the lungs in the mediastinum. It is about the size of a fist, is broad at the top, and tapers toward the base. By applying pressure with the flat portion of one hand on the sternum in the area between the lines in the image below , it is possible to manually compress the blood within the heart enough to push some of the blood within it into the pulmonary and systemic circuits. This is particularly critical for the brain, as irreversible damage and death of neurons occur within minutes of loss of blood flow.
If you are unfamiliar with this song, you can likely find a version of it online. At this stage, the emphasis is on performing high-quality chest compressions, rather than providing artificial respiration. CPR is generally performed until the patient regains spontaneous contraction or is declared dead by an experienced healthcare professional.
When performed by untrained or overzealous individuals, CPR can result in broken ribs or a broken sternum, and can inflict additional severe damage on the patient. It is also possible, if the hands are placed too low on the sternum, to manually drive the xiphoid process into the liver, a consequence that may prove fatal for the patient. Proper training is essential. This proven life-sustaining technique is so valuable that virtually all medical personnel as well as concerned members of the public should be certified and routinely recertified in its application.
CPR courses are offered at a variety of locations, including colleges, hospitals, the American Red Cross, and some commercial companies. They normally include practice of the compression technique on a mannequin. Figure 2. If the heart should stop, CPR can maintain the flow of blood until the heart resumes beating. By applying pressure to the sternum, the blood within the heart will be squeezed out of the heart and into the circulation. Proper positioning of the hands on the sternum to perform CPR would be between the lines at T4 and T9.
The shape of the heart is similar to a pinecone, rather broad at the superior surface and tapering to the apex. A typical heart is approximately the size of your fist: 12 cm 5 in in length, 8 cm 3. Given the size difference between most members of the sexes, the weight of a female heart is approximately — grams 9 to 11 ounces , and the weight of a male heart is approximately — grams 11 to 12 ounces.
The heart of a well-trained athlete, especially one specializing in aerobic sports, can be considerably larger than this. Cardiac muscle responds to exercise in a manner similar to that of skeletal muscle. That is, exercise results in the addition of protein myofilaments that increase the size of the individual cells without increasing their numbers, a concept called hypertrophy. Hearts of athletes can pump blood more effectively at lower rates than those of nonathletes. Enlarged hearts are not always a result of exercise; they can result from pathologies, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The cause of an abnormally enlarged heart muscle is unknown, but the condition is often undiagnosed and can cause sudden death in apparently otherwise healthy young people. The human heart consists of four chambers: The left side and the right side each have one atrium and one ventricle. The ventricles serve as the primary pumping chambers of the heart, propelling blood to the lungs or to the rest of the body.
There are two distinct but linked circuits in the human circulation called the pulmonary and systemic circuits. Although both circuits transport blood and everything it carries, we can initially view the circuits from the point of view of gases.
enter The pulmonary circuit transports blood to and from the lungs, where it picks up oxygen and delivers carbon dioxide for exhalation. The systemic circuit transports oxygenated blood to virtually all of the tissues of the body and returns relatively deoxygenated blood and carbon dioxide to the heart to be sent back to the pulmonary circulation. The right ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood into the pulmonary trunk , which leads toward the lungs and bifurcates into the left and right pulmonary arteries.
These vessels in turn branch many times before reaching the pulmonary capillaries , where gas exchange occurs: Carbon dioxide exits the blood and oxygen enters. The pulmonary trunk arteries and their branches are the only arteries in the post-natal body that carry relatively deoxygenated blood. Highly oxygenated blood returning from the pulmonary capillaries in the lungs passes through a series of vessels that join together to form the pulmonary veins —the only post-natal veins in the body that carry highly oxygenated blood. The pulmonary veins conduct blood into the left atrium, which pumps the blood into the left ventricle, which in turn pumps oxygenated blood into the aorta and on to the many branches of the systemic circuit.
Eventually, these vessels will lead to the systemic capillaries, where exchange with the tissue fluid and cells of the body occurs.
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In this case, oxygen and nutrients exit the systemic capillaries to be used by the cells in their metabolic processes, and carbon dioxide and waste products will enter the blood. The blood exiting the systemic capillaries is lower in oxygen concentration than when it entered. The capillaries will ultimately unite to form venules, joining to form ever-larger veins, eventually flowing into the two major systemic veins, the superior vena cava and the inferior vena cava , which return blood to the right atrium.
The blood in the superior and inferior venae cavae flows into the right atrium, which pumps blood into the right ventricle. This process of blood circulation continues as long as the individual remains alive. Understanding the flow of blood through the pulmonary and systemic circuits is critical to all health professions. Figure 3.