The significance of ten unique characteristics of the cardiovascular system has been demonstrated by clinical observations, cardio-bypass data, animal mechanical heart replacement experiments, and a simulated cardiovascular model. All of the evidence validates that:

  1. The cardiovascular system is a circle containing a mean cardiovascular pressure dependent upon volume and compliance.

  2. The heart is a passively filling pump.

  3. Atria increase cardiac output by causing continuous venous flow to the intermittently contracting ventricles, not by pumping up the ventricles.

  4. Circulation rate is normally determined by the extra-cardiac factors: mean cardiovascular pressure and inlet impedance.

  5. It is only during heart failure that the heart is the regulator of cardiac output.

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