Circulation in the Heart

Refer to Figure 46-2 to trace the path of the blood as it circulates through the heart. Blood returning to the heart from parts of the body other than the lungs has a high concentration of carbon dioxide and a low concentration of oxygen. Q Deoxygenated (O2-poor) blood enters the right atrium.

© The right atrium sends deoxygenated blood into the right ventricle. © The muscles of the right ventricle contract and force the blood into the pulmonary arteries. Q The pulmonary artery sends the blood to the lungs. In the lungs, the carbon dioxide diffuses out of the blood, and oxygen diffuses into the blood. G The oxygenated blood returns to the left atrium of the heart. Notice in Figure 46-2 that the flow of blood on the left side of the heart is illustrated with a red arrow representing oxygenated blood, which has a bright red color.

Superior vena cava sends deoxygenated blood from upper body to right atrium.

Right lung

^^ Right atrium

Superior vena cava sends deoxygenated blood from upper body to right atrium.

Right lung

^^ Right atrium sends blood to the right ventricle.

Aorta sends oxygenated blood to the coronary arteries, the brain, and the rest of the body.

Pulmonary arteries send blood to the lungs.

Left lung

Pulmonary veins return oxygenated blood to the left atrium from the lungs.

Left atrium sends blood to the left ventricle.

Left ventricle sends blood to the aorta.

Right ventricle sends blood to the pulmonary artery.

Inferior vena cava sends deoxygenated blood from lower body to right atrium.

Blood from aorta to body

Aorta sends oxygenated blood to the coronary arteries, the brain, and the rest of the body.

Pulmonary arteries send blood to the lungs.

Left lung sends blood to the right ventricle.

Right ventricle sends blood to the pulmonary artery.

Inferior vena cava sends deoxygenated blood from lower body to right atrium.

Pulmonary veins return oxygenated blood to the left atrium from the lungs.

Left atrium sends blood to the left ventricle.

Left ventricle sends blood to the aorta.

Blood from aorta to body

© The oxygenated blood is then pumped into the left ventricle. O Contraction of the muscular walls of the left ventricle forces the blood into a large blood vessel called the aorta. © From the aorta, blood is transported to all parts of the body. The left ventricle is the thickest chamber of the heart because it has to do the most work to pump blood to all parts of the body.

Deoxygenated blood is commonly represented with the color blue. However, it is a misconception that deoxygenated blood is blue. When oxygen is attached to hemoglobin, the blood is bright red. Without oxygen, blood is dark red. The dark red blood in veins appears blue when it shows through the vein walls and skin.

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