Lab 13: Human Cardiovascular Function

Wrists of student hooked up with sensors leading to an ECG and screen readout.

Chapter 17

During this lab, students look at the entire cardiovascular system while they learn about heart sounds, how to measure blood pressure and record and explain the physiology of a peripheral pulse wave and electrocardiogram (ECG). Students also learn about Einthoven's Triangle and how to determine the heart's physical location from electrical potential differences across the heart.

Blood pressure sleeve and stethoscope.

Finally, students examine the effects of three drugs on the heart's contractions: epinephrine, nicotine and acetylcholine.

Topics to Review Before Lab:

  • Anatomy of the heart
  • Differences between skeletal and cardiac muscle
  • Ion changes in pacemaker myocardial cells
  • Ion changes in myocardial cells
  • Components/pathway of electrical conduction system
  • Frank-Starling Law
  • Effects of epinephrine and acetylcholine contraction strength/heart rate
  • Events responsible for heart sounds
  • Laminar vs. turbulent flow
  • How blood gets back to the heart
  • Components of an ECG