The Cardiac Cycle

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Harvard Medical School

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The Cardiac Cycle

Seniors' Health
22030
Heart Basics: An Interactive Illustration
The Cardiac Cycle
The Cardiac Cycle
htmJHEHeart.152180
Discover what happens in a heartbeat. Includes an interactive illustration.
152180
InteliHealth
2011-12-02
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2014-12-02

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

The Cardiac Cycle

The pathway of the electrical impulses can best be seen by looking in detail at a single heart cycle. The period from the beginning of one heartbeat to the next is called the cardiac cycle. The cardiac cycle consists of a period of contraction, called systole, followed by a period of relaxation, called diastole. During the diastole phase, your heart relaxes and allows blood to flow into the two ventricles; during the systole phase, the ventricles contract, driving blood to the lungs and throughout the body. In a healthy, resting adult, the heart beats about 60 to 80 times a minute, so that the cardiac cycle lasts only about .8 seconds.

 

Heart Basics Icon Click here to see the Cardiac Cycle.

 

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Last updated June 10, 2014


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