Learning aims

  • The first signs of heart development as well as the location of the cardiogenic tissues
  • How the serial blood circulation system is converted to a parallel one during the course of embryonic development and which factors promote this development
  • The processes that occur in the partitioning of the atria and ventricles.
  • An enumeration of the arterial and venous systems with their various components that are near the heart
  • The relationships of the pericardial cavity in adults, taking into account pericardial development
  • The various nerves that are responsible for cardiac innervation

What you already should know


The cardiovascular system develops very early in the young embryo and is necessary for its survival because it supports nourishment and the exchange of gases as well as the elimination of catabolites.
The heart already begins to beat in stage 10 (roughly 28 days) whereby the movement of the blood is initially merely an ebb and flow. The large vessels mainly serve to transport and distribute the blood. The smaller ones are responsible for the exchange processes.


Delving deeper

  • What controls the course of the mesoderm cell development around the cardiogenic plate?
  • What mechanisms are involved in the formation of the cardiac loop?
  • During its development, the heart descends. What influence could this have on cardiac development?
  • Which forces influence cardiac septation?
  • How does the heart build up the connection to the arterial and venous blood vessels to form the cardiovascular system?
  • Which factors are decisive for the formation and development of arterial and venous vessels?
  • Which development does the aortal arch go through and why does a part of the aortic arch arteries remain while others disappear?
  • The venous system is complex. Which influences cause some vessels to disappear while others remain as they are?
  • Valves are necessary for a regulated blood flow. Where are such valves located? Why and how are they formed?
  • The innervation of the heart is assured through various nerves. How do the nerves find their way to their corresponding target organs?
  • What promotes the conversion of the circulation system at birth?