Do you know everything you should know about your cardiovascular health? One of the most important lessons that we should all take into account is that our heart follows a cardiac cycle with two fundamental phases for its correct functioning. Have you heard of systole and diastole? If not, don’t worry, we explain in great detail what these two phases of the heart are and how they work.

What is systole

To begin with, we tell you that systole is the process that consists of the contraction of cardiac atrial and ventricular muscle tissue. Each of the phases performs a pressure pumping function to transport blood from one sector of the heart to another. Atrial systole, for example, is the first step in this process and ensures that the heart’s atria (the two upper chambers separated by a septum) contract and give way to blood flow to the ventricular valves (the lower chambers of the heart). Heart).

Ventricular systole, on the other hand, consists of an increase in pressure in the internal part of the ventricles and the expulsion of blood stored within them. Basically, we can understand ventricular systole as a contraction carried out by the cardiac muscle tissue of the ventricles of the heart. During this process, the bicuspid and tricuspid valves close and prevent the blood volume from returning to the chambers thanks to the natural pressure generated by the pumping of the heart.

Later, the blood leaves the arteries of the lungs and the aorta. These arteries have valves called sigmoid valves that help prevent blood reflux. Once this process of contraction of the cardiac cycle has been carried out, the heart itself remains in a state of relaxation, known as diastole.

What is diastole

Diastole is the cardiac process carried out by the heart once the blood leaves the organ through cardiac systole. Diastole is the time when the heart relaxes completely and allows the blood flow, coming from the lungs and arteries, to re-enter the ventricular and atrial chambers so that, later, the cardiac shekel is repeated. This period in which the heart stops pumping blood and remains in a state of rest while filling and preparing for systole takes just 0.5 seconds.

Like cardiac systole, diastole comprises two phases : the first is that of relaxation of the atria and ventricles and, the second, begins with the dilation of the heart chambers, which are filled with blood fluid to give rise to again, as we have said, to cardiac systole.

During diastole, the atria fill with blood through the superior and inferior vena cava. This causes a rise in internal atrial pressure. Next, ventricular diastole causes the pressure in the ventricles to be lower than in systole, which causes the mitral valve to dilate and the left ventricle of the heart to fill with blood flow. The same occurs with the right ventricle by lowering the pressure to levels below that of the right atrium, thus making the tricuspid valve open and allowing the right atrium to load with blood.

This heart works can show you, in more detail, the entire process carried out by the main organ of the circulatory system.

Difference between systole and diastole

Systole and diastole comprise the entire cardiac cycle, and neither could be accomplished without the other. On the other hand, although both depend on the other, the differences between them are quite wide.

As we have mentioned before, while systole is a contraction of the organ to expel blood towards the lungs and arteries, diastole is a relaxation phase that allows the dilation of the heart valves so that the heart refills with blood. .

Another difference to take into account is that systole requires high pressure to perform its functions correctly, while diastole requires low pressure, otherwise it could not be dilated. On the other hand, in diastole the blood vessels always remain relaxed and, in systole, contracted.

Generally, an adult with stable heart health has a systolic pressure of 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and a diastolic pressure of 80 mmHg. For this pressure to remain stable and our heart is in perfect condition, it is necessary to take care of our cardiovascular health. Do not miss this article on How to prevent cardiovascular diseases to know the main points to take into account to lead a healthy lif


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