Since the function of the heart is to pump into the arteries the blood received from the veins, there is perhaps no more pertinent question regarding cardiac action than the amount of blood which the heart pumps during a given time. That amount is usually designated as the minute volume or cardiac output and is conveniently expressed in liters per minute. In the normal adult of average size under basal conditions the cardiac output is about 4 liters per minute. This applies to either ventricle, since the output is the same for both sides. With a pulse rate of 70 per minute, the systolic output averages 60 cc., or about 2 ounces.
The intimate relation of the digestive and circulatory systems is indicated by the influence of digestion on the pulse rate, blood pressure, circulation time and cardiac output. The pulse rate1 and the systolic blood pressure are found
GLADSTONE SA. CARDIAC OUTPUT AND RELATED FUNCTIONS UNDER BASAL AND POSTPRANDIAL CONDITIONSA CLINICAL STUDY. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1935;55(4):533–546. doi:10.1001/archinte.1935.00160220003001
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