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Difference between Smooth Muscles and Cardiac Muscles

Difference between Smooth Muscles and Cardiac Muscles

Most people know that there are different types of muscle in the body, but may not know what distinguishes one type from another. This blog post will explore the difference between smooth muscles and cardiac muscles. Both types of muscle have unique characteristics that allow them to perform different functions in the body. By understanding the differences between these two types of muscles, you can better understand how your body works and how to keep it healthy. So, let’s take a closer look at the difference between smooth muscles and cardiac muscles!

What are Smooth Muscles?

Smooth muscles are a type of muscle tissue that is found in the walls of organs and blood vessels. Unlike skeletal muscles, which are connected to bones, smooth muscles are not attached to any external structure. Instead, they are anchored by a thin layer of connective tissue. Smooth muscle cells are much smaller than skeletal muscle cells, and they are arranged in a series of parallel fibers. These fibers contract and relax in response to changes in the level of tension within the cell. Smooth muscles play an important role in regulating the flow of blood and other fluids through the body. They are also responsible for moving food through the digestive system and contracting the uterus during childbirth.

What are Cardiac Muscles?

Cardiac muscles are a special type of muscle that is found in the heart. Cardiac muscle cells are able to contract and relax on their own, without needing any stimulation from the nervous system. This process, called autorhythmicity, allows the heart to pump blood even when the rest of the body is at rest. Cardiac muscle cells are also much larger than other types of muscle cells, and they have many more mitochondria. This allows them to produce large amounts of energy, which is necessary for their constant contraction. Cardiac muscles are essential for keeping the heart beating, and they play a vital role in maintaining cardiovascular health.

Difference between Smooth Muscles and Cardiac Muscles

Smooth muscles and cardiac muscles are both types of involuntary muscle tissue. Involuntary muscle tissue is any muscle tissue that is not under conscious control.

  • Smooth muscle tissue is found in the walls of hollow organs, such as the stomach, intestine, bladder, and blood vessels. Cardiac muscle tissue is found only in the heart.
  • Both types of muscle tissue are composed of long, slender cells called myocytes.
  • Smooth muscle cells are smaller and shorter than cardiac muscle cells. Smooth muscle cells also have a single central nucleus, while cardiac muscle cells have multiple nuclei aligned along the length of the cell. Smooth muscle cells lack the intercalated discs found in cardiac muscle cells.
  • Intercalated discs are specialized structures that help to connect adjacent cardiac muscle cells and coordinate their contractions. Smooth muscles are able to maintain a state of contraction for long periods of time, while cardiac muscles can sustain rapid contractions over prolonged periods of time.
  • Smooth muscles can contract gradually or rapidly depending on the needs of the organ they are regulating, while cardiac muscles always contract rapidly and rhythmically.


The cardiac muscles are striated, meaning they have visible bands of protein. This is what gives the heart its characteristic striped appearance. The smooth muscles are not striated and do not have these bands. This is why they appear more uniform in color. Cardiac muscles can only contract and relax, while smooth muscles can both contract and relax as well as change size. Cardiac muscle cells are also smaller than smooth muscle cells. Finally, cardiac muscle tissue contracts in a coordinated fashion, while smooth muscle tissue contracts independently from neighboring cells.

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