Cardiovascular System - Heart Development
These notes introduce the development of the heart which begins very early in mesoderm within the trilaminar embryonic disc. The heart forms initially in the embryonic disc as a simple paired tube inside the forming pericardial cavity, which when the disc folds, gets carried into the correct anatomical position in the chest cavity.
A key aspect of heart development is the septation of the heart into separate chambers. As the embryonic/fetal circulation is different to the neonatal circulation (lung/pulmonary activation), several defects of heart septation may only become apparent on this transition. One septal "defect" occurs in us all, the foramen ovale (between the 2 atria) which in general closes in the neonate over time.