Anatomy Curriculum for Cardiovascular System (CVS)

The following document outlines the details of Objectives of Anatomy contents to be taught during Cardiovascular System (CVS) Block/Unit/Course in undergraduate medical sciences (MBBS) program. Some medical schools may prefer to have separate blocks to teach respiratory and cardiovascular systems whereas others may choose to combine the block as Cardiopulmonary System Block/Unit. 

Block/Unit/Course: Cardiovascular System


Heart and Pericardium
Great Vessels around Heart
Mediastinum and its contents*

*Following the regional anatomy, it is suitable to teach Mediastinum and its contents during Cardiovascular System Block/Unit.


At the end of the block, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the formation of heart tube and cardiac loop.
  2. Name the dilatation and derivatives of heart tube.
  3. Describe the developmental process of different parts of heart explaining the basis for major congenital heart anomalies.
  4. Name the derivatives of arches of aorta.
  5. List the developmental sources of inferior venacava, superior venacava and brachiocephalic vein.
  6. Explain the developmental basis of congenital anomalies of major vessels.
  7. Describe embryonic circulation, fetal circulation and changes after birth.
  8. Summarize the major anatomical features of heart and explain their functional significance.
  9. Describe the conducting system of heart.
  10. Describe the origin, course and main branches of the left and right coronary arteries and explain the functional consequences of their obstruction.
  11. Define coronary dominance.
  12. Name the different layers of pericardium, its relationship with heart and innervation.
  13. Identify and describe the histological features of heart, blood vessels and lymphatics.
  14. Describe the boundaries, subdivision and contents of mediastinum.
  15. Describe the course of the ascending aorta, the arch of the aorta and the descending thoracic aorta. Name their major branches and the structures they supply.
  16. Describe the formation, course and relationships of the brachiocephalic veins, superior vena cava and the azygos venous system.
  17. Describe the course and distribution of the vagus nerve on both the right and left sides of the thorax.
  18. Describe the origin, course and distribution of the phrenic nerve on both the right and left sides of the thorax.
  19. Describe the features and function of sympathetic trunk.
  20. Describe the course and major relations of the thoracic duct.
  21. Identify heart and major blood vessels on standard diagnoistic images.
  22. Demonstrate the surface marking for heart, major great vessels, valves and auscultatory areas.
You can find compiled curriculum at Undergraduate Anatomy Curriculum.