About UsPatient CareHeart information CenterEducationResearchSupport The Texas Heart Institute
Heart Information Center
 
Anatomy of the Heart and CV System
  Back to previous page
  En español

An Incredible Machine: Cardiovascular System 

An Incredible Machine
Bonus poster (PDF)
Cardiovascular System

 
 

 The New Project Heart - heart anatomy illustrations and animations for grades K-6.
Heart anatomy illustrations and animations
for grades K-6.

Anatomy
| Share

Click on the illustration for detailed views of the heart and cardiovascular system.

Vascular Anatomy of the Arm - click for details!Vascular Anatomy of the Arm - click for details!Vascular Anatomy of the Legs - click for details!Vascular Anatomy of the Torso - click for details!Vascular Anatomy of the Torso - click for details!Vascular Anatomy of the Head and Neck - click for details!Anatomy of the Heart- click for details!

Vascular Anatomy - click for details!


Heart   Torso   Head   Arm   Leg    Blood

The Cardiovascular System

Your heart and circulatory system make up your cardiovascular system. Your heart works as a pump that pushes blood to the organs, tissues, and cells of your body. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to every cell and removes the carbon dioxide and waste products made by those cells. Blood is carried from your heart to the rest of your body through a complex network of arteries, arterioles, and capillaries. Blood is returned to your heart through venules and veins. If all the vessels of this network in your body were laid end to end, they would extend for about 60,000 miles (more than 96,500 kilometers), which is far enough to circle the planet Earth more than twice!

The one-way circulatory system carries blood to all parts of your body. This process of blood flow within your body is called circulation. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from your heart, and veins carry oxygen-poor blood back to your heart.

In pulmonary circulation, though, the roles are switched. It is the pulmonary artery that brings oxygen-poor blood into your lungs and the pulmonary vein that brings oxygen-rich blood back to your heart.

In the diagram, the vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood are colored red, and the vessels that carry oxygen-poor blood are colored blue.

Twenty major arteries make a path through your tissues, where they branch into smaller vessels called arterioles. Arterioles further branch into capillaries, the true deliverers of oxygen and nutrients to your cells. Most capillaries are thinner than a hair. In fact, many are so tiny, only one blood cell can move through them at a time. Once the capillaries deliver oxygen and nutrients and pick up carbon dioxide and other waste, they move the blood back through wider vessels called venules. Venules eventually join to form veins, which deliver the blood back to your heart to pick up oxygen.

See also on other sites:

MedlinePlus
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/anatomy.html
Anatomy


Updated October 2013
Top  

If you need information about keeping your heart healthy, e-mail the
Heart Information Center or call 1-800-292-2221.
 (Outside the U.S., call 1-832-355-6536.)

Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to us on YouTube Find Us on Flicikr Follow Us on Pinterest Add us on Google+

Please contact our Webmaster with questions or comments.
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© Copyright 1996-2014 Texas Heart Institute.
All rights reserved.
This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. U.S. NEWS America's Best Hospitals 2013-14