Central Venous Pressure

Because all the veins, except those of the pulmonary circuit, drain into the right atrium, the pressure within this heart chamber is called central venous pressure. This pressure is of special interest because it affects the pressure within the peripheral veins. For example, if the heart is beating weakly, the central venous pressure increases, and blood backs up in the venous network, raising its pressure too. However, if the heart is beating forcefully, the central venous pressure and the pressure within the venous network decrease.

As a result of disease or injury, blood or tissue fluid may accumulate in the pericardial cavity, increasing pressure. This condition, called acute cardiac tamponade, can be life threatening. As the pressure around the heart increases, it may compress the heart, interfere with the flow of blood into its chambers, and prevent pumping action. An early symptom of acute cardiac tamponade may be increased central venous pressure, with visible engorgement of the veins in the neck.

Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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