cardiovascular system


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cardiovascular system:

see circulatory systemcirculatory system,
group of organs that transport blood and the substances it carries to and from all parts of the body. The circulatory system can be considered as composed of two parts: the systemic circulation, which serves the body as a whole except for the lungs, and the
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Cardiovascular system

Those structures, such as the heart, or pumping mechanism, and the arteries, veins, and capillaries, which provide channels for the flow of blood. The cardiovascular system is sometimes called the blood-vascular system. The circulatory system includes both the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems; the latter consists of lymph channels (lymphatics), nodes, and fluid lymph which finally empties into the bloodstream.

Circulatory physiology describes the structure and operation of the circulation in living animals, and enquires as to how or why the circulatory system may have evolved. The circulatory system in all vertebrates has multiple functions, but all functions are involved in regulating the internal environment of the animal (promoting homeostasis). In all vertebrates the circulatory system consists of a central pump, the heart, which drives a liquid transport medium, the blood, continuously around a closed system of tubes, the vascular system. The arterial portion of this system is divided into larger elastic and smaller resistance vessels (arterioles) which distribute blood to specialized regions or organs where transfer of nutrients, oxygen, or waste products takes place across the walls of a fine network of microscopic capillaries. Blood from the capillaries passes through the venules (small venous vessels) into the main vein and returns to the heart. The arterioles, venules, and capillaries make up the microcirculation, which is arguably the most important functional role of the vertebrate circulatory system from a functional point of view.

Cardiovascular system disorders are those disorders which involve the arteries, veins, and lymphatics.

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cardiovascular system

[¦kärd·ē·ō′vas·kyə·lər ‚sis·təm]
(anatomy)
Those structures, including the heart and blood vessels, which provide channels for the flow of blood.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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