NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1029878
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-1043-4046
Expanding Application of the Wiggers Diagram to Teach Cardiovascular Physiology
Mitchell, Jamie R.; Wang, Jiun-Jr
Advances in Physiology Education, v38 n2 p170-175 Jun 2014
Dr. Carl Wiggers' careful observations have provided a meaningful resource for students to learn how the heart works. Throughout the many years from his initial reports, the Wiggers diagram has been used, in various degrees of complexity, as a fundamental tool for cardiovascular instruction. Often, the various electrical and mechanical plots are the novice learner's first exposure to simulated data. As the various temporal relationships throughout a heartbeat could simply be memorized, the challenge for the cardiovascular instructor is to engage the learner so the underlying mechanisms governing the changing electrical and mechanical events are truly understood. Based on experience, we suggest some additions to the Wiggers diagram that are not commonly used to enhance cardiovascular pedagogy. For example, these additions could be, but are not limited to, introducing the concept of energy waves and their role in influencing pressure and flow in health and disease. Also, integrating concepts of exercise physiology, and the differences in cardiac function and hemodynamics between an elite athlete and normal subject, can have a profound impact on student engagement. In describing the relationship between electrical and mechanical events, the instructor may find the introduction of premature ventricular contractions as a useful tool to further understanding of this important principle. It is our hope that these examples can aid cardiovascular instructors to engage their learners and promote fundamental understanding at the expense of simple memorization.
American Physiological Society. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991. Tel: 301-634-7164; Fax: 301-634-7241; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A