Physiology of the Heart The work of the heart is to pump blood to the lungs through pulmonary circulation and to the rest of the body through systemic circulation. This is accomplished by systematic contraction and relaxation of the cardiac muscle in the myocardium. Conduction System An effective cycle for productive pumping of blood requires that the heart be synchronized accurately. Both atria need to contract simultaneously, followed by contraction of both ventricles. Specialized cardiac muscle cells that make up the conduction system of the heart coordinate contraction of the chambers. The conduction system includes several components. The first part of the conduction system is the sinoatrial node . Without any neural stimulation, the sinoatrial node rhythmically initiates impulses 70 to 80 times per minute. Because it establishes the basic rhythm of the heartbeat, it is called the pacemaker of the heart. Other parts of the conduction system include the atrioventricular node, atrioventricular bundle, bundle branches, and conduction myofibers. All
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