History of Cardiovascular Physiology, Dr. D. Penney

Body Function According to Galen:


  • Comprised a totally separate system from the arteries; rooted in liver not heart; carried venous blood with natural spirit and nutriment from the liver to the body.

  • Blood volume carried was not large, and being continually renewed by liver; some small fraction entered right heart.

  • Heart
  • Not a muscle, because it beat involuntarily

  • Had only 2 chambers, the ventricles; auricles only dilations of great veins

  • Center of body's natural heat; active motion was its dilatation in diastole, not as Harvey showed, its systole; dilation drew venous blood into it, and air into it from lungs through the venous artery.

  • Arteries
  • Active dilation of the aorta and other arteries (like heart) drew the blood and spirit out of the heart and into the body; drew air in through the skin (the motions of the lungs in respiration, of heart beat, and of arterial pulse, were all are regarded as serving the same function, vitalizing and distributing arterial blood, and cooling and cleansing, necessitated by the heart's heat).

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