Cerebrovascular circulation refers to the network of blood vessels that supply oxygenated blood and nutrients to the brain tissue, and remove waste products. It includes the internal carotid arteries, vertebral arteries, circle of Willis, and the intracranial arteries that branch off from them.
The internal carotid arteries and vertebral arteries merge to form the circle of Willis, a polygonal network of vessels located at the base of the brain. The anterior cerebral artery, middle cerebral artery, posterior cerebral artery, and communicating arteries are the major vessels that branch off from the circle of Willis and supply blood to different regions of the brain.
Interruptions or abnormalities in the cerebrovascular circulation can lead to various neurological conditions such as stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), and vascular dementia.
Blood circulation, also known as cardiovascular circulation, refers to the process by which blood is pumped by the heart and circulated throughout the body through a network of blood vessels, including arteries, veins, and capillaries. This process ensures that oxygen and nutrients are delivered to cells and tissues, while waste products and carbon dioxide are removed.
The circulation of blood can be divided into two main parts: the pulmonary circulation and the systemic circulation. The pulmonary circulation involves the movement of blood between the heart and the lungs, where it picks up oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. The systemic circulation refers to the movement of blood between the heart and the rest of the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to cells and tissues while picking up waste products for removal.
The heart plays a central role in blood circulation, acting as a pump that contracts and relaxes to move blood through the body. The contraction of the heart's left ventricle pushes oxygenated blood into the aorta, which then branches off into smaller arteries that carry blood throughout the body. The blood then flows through capillaries, where it exchanges oxygen and nutrients for waste products and carbon dioxide with surrounding cells and tissues. The deoxygenated blood is then collected in veins, which merge together to form larger vessels that eventually return the blood back to the heart's right atrium. From there, the blood is pumped into the lungs to pick up oxygen and release carbon dioxide, completing the cycle of blood circulation.
Extracorporeal circulation (ECC) is a term used in medicine to describe the process of temporarily taking over the functions of the heart and lungs by using a machine. This allows the surgeon to perform certain types of surgery, such as open-heart surgery, on a still and bloodless operating field.
During ECC, the patient's blood is circulated outside the body through a pump and oxygenator. The pump helps to maintain blood flow and pressure, while the oxygenator adds oxygen to the blood and removes carbon dioxide. This allows the surgeon to stop the heart and arrest its motion, making it easier to perform delicate procedures on the heart and surrounding structures.
Extracorporeal circulation is a complex and high-risk procedure that requires careful monitoring and management by a team of healthcare professionals. It carries risks such as bleeding, infection, and injury to blood vessels or organs. However, when performed correctly, it can be a life-saving measure for patients undergoing certain types of surgery.
Pulmonary circulation refers to the process of blood flow through the lungs, where blood picks up oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. This is a vital part of the overall circulatory system, which delivers nutrients and oxygen to the body's cells while removing waste products like carbon dioxide.
In pulmonary circulation, deoxygenated blood from the systemic circulation returns to the right atrium of the heart via the superior and inferior vena cava. The blood then moves into the right ventricle through the tricuspid valve and gets pumped into the pulmonary artery when the right ventricle contracts.
The pulmonary artery divides into smaller vessels called arterioles, which further branch into a vast network of tiny capillaries in the lungs. Here, oxygen from the alveoli diffuses into the blood, binding to hemoglobin in red blood cells, while carbon dioxide leaves the blood and is exhaled through the nose or mouth.
The now oxygenated blood collects in venules, which merge to form pulmonary veins. These veins transport the oxygen-rich blood back to the left atrium of the heart, where it enters the systemic circulation once again. This continuous cycle enables the body's cells to receive the necessary oxygen and nutrients for proper functioning while disposing of waste products.