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Human Anatomy and Physiology
Circulatory System
Heart

Describe why the circulation in humans is called double circulation?

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2009-09-24 13:21:28
2009-09-24 13:21:28

We know that same blood passes two times through the heart i.e. 1) blood from heart to the lungs and 2) lungs to the heart for circulation in body. That's why circulation of blood in human beings is called double circulation.

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In double circulation there is complete segregation of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. Because of this the blood passes twice through the heart in one cycle of circulation hence the name double circulation. This is necessary for optimum oxygen utilization as humans are warm blooded animals and need extra energy to maintain their body temperature


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Double circulation allows for a pressure increase after gas exchange occurs. In single circulation, the blood goes from the heart to the gill capillaries. Since these are so thin the starting pressure must be low so the capillary membranes don't leak. This causes less perfusion of gases into the tissues after the blood leaves the gills. Evolution solved this problem through double circulation, which began with lungfish. They have a partially divided heart which seperates the pulmonary and systemic circuit, so after the blood is replenished with oxygen it comes back to the heart which gives it a second pump so it has a higher pressure when it reaches the body. Humans have a fully divided circulation. Unlike partially divided systems, in humans the blood doesnt mix in the heart and it doesnt require "shunting" from one side of the heart to the other like lungfish do. It goes from Right ventricle->pulmonary artery->to the lungs-> pulmonary vein-> left atrium-> left ventricle->systemic circulation-> right atrium etc. This means there is a higher pressure difference between the systemic and pulmonary circuits, therefore, better perfusion and blood flow in the body.


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