Events in the Cardiac Cycle

The heart serves as a muscular pump that generates varying pressures as its chambers contract and relax. Systole is the period of ventricular contraction. In the diagram shown below, pressure in the left ventricle rises from less than 5 mm Hg in its resting state to a normal peak of 120 mm Hg. After the ventricle ejects much of its blood into the aorta, the pressure levels off and starts to fall. Diastole is the period of ventricular relaxation. Ventricular pressure falls further to below 5 mm Hg, and blood flows from atrium to ventricle. Late in diastole, ventricular pressure rises slightly during inflow of blood from atrial contraction.

Left ventricle pressure curve

mm Hg

Left ventricle pressure curve

mm Hg

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