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Atria are Primer Pumps for the Ventricles

Ventricular Filling Occurs in Three Phases:
  • Rapid ventricular filling

  • Diastasis

  • Atrial contraction

Under Resting Condition
  • 80% of the ventricular filling is complete by rapid ventricular filling and diastasis.

  • Atrial contraction contributes only 20% to ventricular filling. This is a relatively small amount.

  • Moreover, the heart has the capacity to pump 3 to 4 times more blood than required during resting conditions.

  • Because of these reasons, atrial contraction is not absolutely necessary during the resting conditions and a person can do just fine even if atria fail.

During Exercise
  • The contribution of atrial contraction in ventricular filling increases up to 40%.

  • This is a significant contribution and if it's not available, the ability of a person to do exercise might be compromised.


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