The heart

The heart is a fist-sized muscular organ that contracts rhythmically to pump blood and ensure the supply of blood and oxygen to the whole body. Deoxygenated blood arrives from the circulatory system in the right section of the heart, and then flows through the pulmonary circulation system, where it is saturated with oxygen. The oxygenated blood then flows into the left section of the heart and through the left aorta into the body. All organs and tissue are supplied with oxygenated blood in this way. The heart’s rhythm is controlled by electrical impulses generated in the heart itself. Each impulse delivered through the cardiac conduction system facilitates alternating contraction and relaxation. The alternating contraction and relaxation of the heart form the basis of the body’s circulation.

Medical symptoms that may lead to transplantation

Progressive heart failure, congenital heart defects, coronary disease and even viral infections can all cause chronic heart failure and weaken the cardiac muscle. This causes the heart to lose its ability to pump blood. Transplantation offers patients for whom medication or surgery have proved unsuccessful an additional treatment option.

More information on this topic: heart transplantation (in german).