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Cardiac Physiology

  • The heart is at its core a pump designed to actuate the flow of blood through the circulatory system. In reality, the heart is a fusion of two separate pumps, the right heart and left heart, which are responsible for actuating blood flow through the the pulmonary circulation and the systemic circulation, respectively. It should be noted that there is no fundamental reason why the right and left heart should be fused and into a single structure; however, their fusion allows for easier coordination of their pumping activities. Below we discuss the electrical mechanisms which regulate the pumping activity of the heart, the physical basis of cardiac pumping, and how these processes are unified and regulated to achieve homeostasis.