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Heart Myocardium

Heart Myocardium (Heart Muscle) and Coronary Artery Diagram

Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator; C. Carl Jaffe, MD, cardiologist. Licenses


Myocardium is the muscular middle layer of the wall of the heart. It is composed of spontaneously contracting cardiac muscle fibers which allow the heart to contract. Heart contraction is an autonomic (involuntary) function of the peripheral nervous system. The myocardium is surrounded by the epicardium (outer layer of the wall of the heart) and the endocardium (inner layer of the heart).

Function of the Myocardium

Myocardium stimulates heart contractions to pump blood from the ventricles and relaxes the heart to allow the atria to receive blood. These contractions produce what is known as a heart beat. The beating of the heart drives the cardiac cycle which pumps blood to cells and tissues of the body.

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