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Pulmonary circulation

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Anatomy and function of the cardiovascular system.

The cardiovascular (circulatory) system is composed of two types of circulatory circuits: the pulmonary circulation and the systemic circulation. The shorter pulmonary circulation is responsible for pumping blood between the heart and lungs whereas the longer systemic circulation pumps blood between the heart and all the organs and tissues.

The main components of the pulmonary circulation are the right side of the heart (right atrium and right ventricle), the pulmonary trunk, pulmonary arteries and the pulmonary veins.

In pulmonary circulation, deoxygenated blood from the tissues of the body received by the right atrium flows into the right ventricle and is pumped from the right ventricle into the pulmonary trunk. The pulmonary trunk carries the deoxygenated blood into the lungs via the right and left pulmonary arteries. At the level of pulmonary capillaries, gaseous exchange occurs between blood in the capillaries and the alveoli of the lungs resulting in the removal of carbon dioxide and the oxygenation of the blood. Oxygen-rich blood is then returned to the left side of the heart, specifically the left atrium, via the pulmonary veins. The cycle then repeats itself.

In contrast to systemic circulation, the vessels within the pulmonary circulation are fairly short, given the close relation of the heart and lungs. As well, these vessels are of a wider caliber, thus blood pressure in these vessels are much lower than in systemic vessels.

Terminology English: Pulmonary circulation
Synonym: Pulmonary circuit

Circulatio pulmonis
Definition Circulatory circuit that carries deoxygenated blood from the right heart to the lungs for oxygenation and back to the left heart via pulmonary vessels.
Structures Right atrium, right ventricle, pulmonary trunk, pulmonary arteries, pulmonary veins
Function Oxygenation of blood

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