Introduction

This chapter is a review of commonly utilized monitoring techniques performed to assess the function of the general cardiovascular system. Specifically, means to assess arterial blood pressure, central venous pressure, pulmonary artery pressure, mixed venous oxygen saturation, cardiac output, pressure-volume loops, and Frank-Starling curves are described. Basic physiological principals underlying cardiac function are also briefly discussed.

Under normal physiological conditions, the human heart functions as two separate pumps: (1) the right heart pumps blood through the pulmonary circulation, and (2) the left heart

From: Handbook of Cardiac Anatomy, Physiology, and Devices Edited by: P. A. Iaizzo © Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ

pumps blood through the systemic circulation. Each contraction of the heart and subsequent ejection of blood creates pressures that are commonly monitored clinically to assess the function of the heart and its work against resistance. In general, the mechanical function of the heart is described by the changes in pressures, volumes, and flows that occur within a given cardiac cycle. A single cardiac cycle is one complete sequence of myocardial contraction and relaxation.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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