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Cardiocirculatory Integration

  • Up to the present moment we have treated the physiology of the heart and the circulatory system separately; however, it is clear that their functionalities are intimately dependent on one another. Ultimately, the rate of blood flow pumped out of the heart (Cardiac Output) and the rate of blood flow travelling through the circulation and thus returning to the heart (Venous Return) must be equivalent. Below we discuss how cardiac output and venous return vary given changes in the cardiovascular system and how they are ultimately connected.