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Level 31

CVRR 91 - 105


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Myocardium
Middle layer of the heart, analogous with T. media
Epicardium
Outer surface of the myocardium, analogous with T. adventitia
Intercalated discs
These allow interlocking of two adjacent cardiac myocytes, bound together via desmosomes, adherens junctions, and gap junctions
Adherens junction
Provide strong mechanical attachments, holding cells together during contraction via their links with actin filaments.
Functional syncytium
The concept through which cardiac muscle cells are mechanically, chemically, and electrically connected to one another, thus, the entire tissue resembles a single, enormous muscle cell.
Fibrocollagenous skeleton
Dense connective tissue encircling the base of the aorta and pulmonary artery, providing an attachment site for the semilunar valves of these vessels.
Arteries
Thick-walled vessels, carrying blood away from the heart. Their walls are composed of differing amounts of smooth muscle, collagen, and elastin.
Elastic artery
A type of artery with a thick medial layer, high levels of elastin and collagen. Large vessels, e.g. aorta.
Muscular artery
High levels of smooth muscle, thick adventitial layer. Medium-sized vessels, e.g. femoral artery.
Arterioles
Muscular arteries progress to become these when their diameter decreases to less than 0.3mm.
Capillaries
Arterioles give rise to these smaller vessels, which have a diameter of between 4 – 8 μm. They are simple tubes of endothelial cells, supported by a basement membrane.
Anastomosis
The reconnection of two vessels that previously branched out,
Venules
These vessels drain deoxygenated blood directly from the capillary beds.
Veins
These vessels carry deoxygenated blood and have a larger diameter than arteries. They have valves, thinner walls, more collagen, less elastin and less smooth muscle.
Valves
These are extensions of the T. intima. They prevent backflow in the venous system.