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Systolic phase of heartbeat. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of a human heart during the systolic (contracting) phase of the heartbeat. This axial (horizontal) section shows the heart at centre, with the lungs either side. The front of the body is at top. The arrows show the contracted diameter (27 millimetres) of the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber. The heart is a hollow muscular pump that contracts continuously under a steady cycle of electrical impulses, sending blood to the lungs and around the body. For the diastolic (resting) phase of the heart beat, see P216/478. MRI scanning uses powerful magnets and radio waves to look at structures inside the body.
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