01. The Circulatory System

circulatory systemIn order for the body to work correctly, it needs nutrients and oxygen. These vital nutrients and oxygen are carried in the blood that is pumped throughout the body by the heart.

As the heart pumps, oxygenated blood flows out through the aorta, the largest artery in the body. All other arteries (red) branch out of the aorta and carry blood to the billions of cells in the body.

Once the blood has delivered the oxygen and nutrients to the body, it returns to the heart through the veins (blue). The oxygen depleted blood is then sent to the lungs to pick up more oxygen, remove carbon dioxide, and is returned to the heart where it is sent out to the body again. The movement of blood through the heart, lungs, and body is called “The Circulatory System.”

Coronary Arteries

Because the heart is a muscle, it needs oxygen and nutrients to work at optimum levels. The arteries that provide blood to the heart are called “Coronary Arteries” and are located directly on the heart. If these arteries become narrowed or blocked, treatment is necessary to restore blood flow.

Peripheral Vascular System

Coronary arteries aren’t the only arterial system susceptible to narrowing or blockage. Outside the heart is the peripheral vascular system, which includes:

  • Carotid Arteries which supply blood to the brain
  • Renal Arteries which supply blood to the kidneys
  • Iliac Arteries which supply blood to the lower abdomen
  • Femoral and Popliteal Arteries which supply blood to the legs

Read: Chapter 02. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Information presented in this Patient Healthcare Guide is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent disease, and should not be used in place of a visit to your doctor or healthcare provider. Discuss this information with your physician or healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.