FETAL PIG II Anatomy of the Cardiovascular System of the Fetal Pig

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1 FETAL PIG II Anatomy of the Cardiovascular System of the Fetal Pig Introduction: The cardiovascular system in the fetal pig is very similar to the cardiovascular system in humans. In this lab exercise we will be studying the anatomy of the fetal pig s heart and major blood vessels that carry blood to the heart (vena cava) and away from the heart (arteries). Most of the blood vessels we will be observing are part of the systemic circuit. The systemic circuit includes the chambers of the heart and blood vessels that carry blood to the body systems, except the lungs, and return the blood to the heart. As you work with the blood vessels there are several things to remember: The arteries should be filled with red latex and the veins may be filled with blue latex. Arterial walls are thicker than veins. The red latex may be difficult to see within the major arteries. Blood vessel diameter gets smaller as the blood vessel branches. The smaller the diameter, the more fragile the blood vessel. Blood vessels are most commonly named for the organs they serve or the area they travel through. For the most part, each time the blood vessel branches it gets a new name. Arteries and veins (and nerves) travel together through tissues. In many cases your blunt probe can be passed through the organ or tissue along with the vessels to follow their course. Proper dissection of blood vessels, requires the blunt probe to be passed under the blood vessel (until it branches). As you gently break the connective tissue surrounding the blood vessels take care not to lift/stretch the blood vessels because they are easily broken. Dissection Exercise: Fetal Pig II, page 1

2 Activity 1: Dissection of Blood Vessels above the Diaphragm Lab Safety: All students are required to wear goggles and nonlatex gloves while working with their specimens. Biohazard: All students are required to wash their hands, tools and bench with soap and water after they have completed the dissection activities. Razor blades are always disposed of in the biohazard container. Dissection Tools: Dissection tray, Blunt probe, Sharp probe, Scissors, Razor Specimen: Fetal Pig (1 specimen per pair of students, continuation of dissection) In order to dissect out the blood vessels, review the anatomy of the fetal pig heart and the human heart by using the diagrams. You should have removed a small portion of the pericardial sac and thymus that covers the base of the heart in order to see the great vessels that leave the heart. As you view the heart, you can view the pulmonary trunk easily along the surface whereas, the aorta and anterior (superior) vena cava are attached posteriorly. Keep in mind veins return blood to the atria, and arteries carry blood away from the heart due to the contractions of the ventricles. Procedure: 1. Before lab, draw a few diagrams with labels of the blood vessels as indicated by bold-faced type within this procedure. Practice identifying your blood vessels on the photographs provided here or the Fetal Pig II Photoalbum Online. 2. Assemble all of the dissection tools, specimen and put on your goggles and nonlatex gloves. Dissection Exercise: Fetal Pig II, page 115

3 3. If you have not removed a small portion of the pericardial sac and the thymus gland that sits atop the base (superior/wide portion of the heart). Use your scissors and forceps to complete this in order to identify the atria, ventricles, apex, coronary blood vessels and pulmonary trunk of your specimen. a. The coronary blood vessels lie on the surface of the heart and are used to identify the right and left sides of the heart. These blood vessels bring blood to/from the myocardium (cardiac tissue) because as the blood passes through the heart, it is traveling too fast for exchange to occur with the tissues of the heart. b. The pulmonary trunk carries deoxygenated blood from the right ventricle to the lungs. It is commonly a large white vessel that is seen on the ventral side of the fetal pig between the atria. (See photograph on previous page) 4. Identify the aorta (arch) dorsal to the pulmonary trunk. The aorta carries oxygenated blood away from the heart s left ventricle to other body organs and forms an inverted J as it travels posteriorly along the dorsal wall through both the thoracic and abdominal cavities. As blood vessels branch off of the aorta, they are named for the organs the arteries carry blood to. The aorta has the thickest vessel walls of all the blood vessels. The aorta commonly appears whitish because the wall is so thick that the red latex is not visible through the wall. 5. Bringing blood back to the heart is the anterior (humans superior) vena cava and posterior vena cava. The anterior vena cava brings deoxygenated blood back from the head and upper body while the posterior vena cava brings deoxygenated blood back from the posterior organs and hind limbs. The veins that merge to form the anterior vena cava lay along the same pathway as the arteries that branch from the aorta. While the posterior vena cava lay on the ventral aspect of the aorta as it travels through the thoracic and abdominal cavities. Both vena cava have extremely thin walls and are easily broken with the blunt probe. Dissection Exercise: Fetal Pig II, page 116

4 6. The first branch off the aorta is the brachiocephalic artery. The name identifies the locations it serves brachioserves the brachium and cephalic serves the head. The brachiocephalic artery is usually short and branches into three other arteries: the right subclavian (passes subunder the clavicle-clavicle), and the right and left carotid arteries (carry blood to the head). 7. Follow the right and left carotid arteries into the neck region by gently breaking the connective tissue that holds the neck region organs in place. Follow these arteries until they branch. 8. The right subclavian continues toward the brachium. Follow the right subclavian into the tissues of the arm. Your blunt probe should pass through the tissues allowing you to cut through the tissues atop the probe. Once the blood vessel reaches the brachium, it gets a new name the right brachial artery. 9. The left subclavian artery is dorsal to the brachiocephalic off of the aortic arch. Gently push the heart to the right as you find the left subclavian and follow it as it continues on as the left brachial artery into the arm of the specimen. 10. Practice identifying the blood vessels from the heart into the neck, both arms, and posteriorly to the diaphragm. 11. Record your dissection steps and observations in your lab notebook. Dissection Exercise: Fetal Pig II, page 117

5 Activity 2: Dissection of the Blood Vessels Posterior to the Diaphragm Procedure: 1. Before lab, read through the procedure and draw diagrams of the blood vessels you will be finding and label these. Practice identifying the blood vessels on the photographs here and in your Fetal Pig Photoalbum Online. 2. The aorta passes through both the abdominal and thoracic cavity with the posterior vena running top its ventral surface. To identify the abdominal aorta, keep in mind the aorta should be filled with red latex so it will be cylindrical, while the vena cava is commonly (filled with blue latex) collapsed lying atop the aorta as you view your specimen or off to one side. The easiest place to begin is with the kidneys. Your kidneys should be free of the peritoneum and as you observe the dorsal aspect of the kidneys, you should find the renal artery that connects the kidney to the medial abdominal aorta. (Renal refers to the kidney, so the renal artery brings oxygenated blood from the aorta to the kidney). 3. At about the level of the renal artery, you may see the very tiny (diameter) gonadal arteries. The gonadal arteries are also called the spermatic artery in the male and ovarian artery in the female. 4. Moving cranially along the abdominal aorta from the renal artery, find the anterior (superior) mesenteric artery. It will be necessary to move the abdominal organs to the side to find this branch. The anterior mesenteric artery supplies blood to the pancreas and small intestine. 5. The next branch moving cranially is the celiac artery which branches further supplying blood to the liver duodenum, spleen and stomach. 6. The blood vessels posterior to the renal arteries are closely associated with the urinary and reproductive system organs. Use care to keep these structures intact as you continue working. Dissection Exercise: Fetal Pig II, page 118

6 7. The abdominal aorta terminates in four branches: the right and left external iliac, and the right and left internal iliac arteries. The internal iliac arteries are also the umbilical arteries in a fetus. It may be easier to follow the umbilical/internal iliac arteries to the abdominal aorta OR follow the abdominal aorta from the renal arteries toward the internal iliac arteries. As you follow the internal iliac arteries, preserve your reproductive structures and ureters (the tube that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder) for future dissections. 8. The external iliac arteries continue (and branch, but we will not be naming all of the branches) into the leg. Once the external iliac enters into the hind limb, it is called the femoral artery. Branching off the femoral is a smaller deep femoral artery. 9. Practice identifying the blood vessels once they have been dissected out, you should be able to lift each blood vessel up with the probe (between branches) and identify it from the diaphragm to the hind limb. 10. Complete your documentation and answer the associated questions in your lab notebook. Dissection Exercise: Fetal Pig II, page 119

7 This page was intentionally left blank. Dissection Exercise: Fetal Pig II, page 120

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