Understanding Pulmonary Hypertension
The human body is a very complex organism composed of different types of systems and functions. All the functions that each system has, is what makes possible for the body to obtain life. One of the most important systems in one’s body is the circulatory system, where the heart, the lungs, and the blood vessels work together to form the circle part of the circulatory system. The pumping of the heart forces the blood on its journey. The body’s circulatory system really has three parts: pulmonary circulation, coronary circulation, and systemic circulation. Each part must be working independently in order for them to all work together. However, when one of the parts of the circulatory system does not work properly, diseases like pulmonary hypertension arise.
During a normal cycle of the pulmonary circulation, the veins bring waste-rich blood back to the heart, entering the large atrium throughout two large veins called vena cavae. The right atrium fills with the waste-rich blood and then contracts, pushing the blood through a one-way valve into the right ventricle. The right ventricle fills and then contracts, pushing the blood into the pulmonary artery, which leads to the lungs. In the capillaries, the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen takes place. The fresh, oxygen-rich blood enters the pulmonary veins and then returns to the heart, reentering through the left atrium. The oxygen-rich then passes through a one-way valve into the left ventricle where it will exit the heart through the main artery, called the aorta. The left’s ventricles contraction forces the blood into the aorta and the blood begins its journey throughout the body. The circulatory system is a network of one-way streets. If blood starting flowing the wrong way, the blood gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) might mix, causing a serious threat to one’s body. Now that we have examined the normal cycle of the pulmonary circulation, let us see what is it that...
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