Structural Concepts


The Common Vein Copyright 2008


 The heart it is made of four chambers and four valves, and each of the chambers is associated with a tubal system- either an inflow system of tubes or an outflow system. As one explores the structure it becomes fascinating to learn how each one of the components is uniquely designed and structured so that what appears at first to be a symmetrically designed system, turns out to be as asymmetrically symmetric as Picasso’s “Girl before a Mirror” (1932).

The Basic Scaffolding of the Heart
The infrastructure of the heart is a cross resulting conceptually in a box with four chambers. The upper chambers are the receiving chambers and the lower chambers are the pumping chambers. Between the two atria is the interatrial septum, and between the two ventricles is the interventricular septum.
This diagram shows perfect symmetry. The heart although having the same infrastructure has a beautiful asymmetric symmetry, similar to the painting of a Girl Before the Mirror by Picasso.
Ashley Davidoff MD


Girl Before A Mirror by Picasso
Despite the promised symmetry of “Girl before a Mirror,” 1932 we are surprised and fascinated by the asymmetric symmetry. The heart and lungs holds this same beauty.
©2001 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Reproduction, including downloading of Picasso works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. 32063 key words
cardiac heart circulation artery vein introduction asymmetry art drawing

 There are many  unique structural characteristics of the myocardium including its syncytial nature, ability to act as a conduction system, and the intercalated discs that separate the individual cells.

A drawing of the histology of the myocytes of the heart showing how they are connected and related as a continuum enabling a coordinated contraction pattern. Note that the cell membranes are interrupted allowing the cells to freely communicate with each other. This arrangement is called a syncytium – an open door approach of the cells to allow efficient communication and connection.
Ashley Davidoff MD

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