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Isovolumetric Relaxation Period As the ventricles relax (following the T wave on the ECG), ventricular pressure quickly decreases. Once pressure in the ventricles is less than pressure in the aorta, the semilunar valves close. At this point, the AV valves are also closed. Because the ventricles are relaxing and there is no change in ventricular volume, this period is aptly named the isovolumetric relaxation period. This, however, is a brief period; as soon as the pressure in the atria exceeds the pressure in the ventricles, the AV valves are forced open, and blood begins to fill the ventricles.

1. 3, p. 47), and the following description applies to the contracting cell. There are five distinct phases of the cardiac action potential, labeled in the figure as phases 0 through 4 (phases are labeled 0 through 4 by convention). In general, the myocardial action potential is characterized by a rapid depolarization (0), followed by a slight overshoot (1); a delay or plateau in the membrane potential, referred to as the refractory period (2), which then proceeds to a rapid repolarization (also part of the refractory period) (3); and a return to resting membrane potential (4).

Stroke volume is an important clinical measure because it is often used as a global measure of systolic function. 10 Stroke volume assessment. Cardiac dimensions are imaged during diastole and systole to provide a measure of ventricular volume. Stroke volume is the difference between end-diastolic ventricular volume and end-systolic ventricular volume. 27 28 Advanced Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology During exercise, stroke volume must be measured by different methods because of movement artifact that limits the validity of the method just described.

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Advanced cardiovascular exercise physiology by Denise L. Smith

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