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What Are the 78 Organs of the Human Body? COVID-19 Organ Damage

Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2022

An organ is a collection of tissues that function in a particular manner. Learn the 78 organs of the human body below.

An organ is a collection of tissues that function in a particular manner. The tissue is connected and constructed as a unit to serve a common function. All organs of the body work in sync to form about a dozen organ systems.

Below is the list of all discovered organs to date.

  • Adrenal glands
  • Anus
  • Appendix
  • Bladder (urinary)
  • Bones
  • Bone marrow (spongy part of the bone)
  • Brain
  • Bronchi (tubes in the lungs)
  • Diaphragm (muscle of breathing)
  • Ears
  • Esophagus (food pipe)
  • Eyes
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Gallbladder
  • Genitals
  • Heart
  • Hypothalamus (in the brain)
  • Joints
  • Kidneys
  • Large intestine
  • Larynx (voice box)
  • Liver
  • Lungs
  • Lymph nodes
  • Mammary glands
  • Mesentery (covering of the intestines)
  • Mouth
  • Nasal cavity
  • Nose
  • Ovaries
  • Pancreas
  • Pineal gland
  • Parathyroid glands
  • Pharynx
  • Pituitary gland
  • Prostate
  • Rectum
  • Salivary glands
  • Skeletal muscles
  • Skin
  • Small intestine
  • Spinal cord
  • Spleen
  • Stomach
  • Teeth
  • Thymus gland
  • Thyroid
  • Trachea
  • Tongue
  • Ureters
  • Urethra
  • Uterus
  • Human skeleton
  • Ligaments (connect muscles to bones)
  • Tendons (connect bones to bones)
  • Blood cells
  • Vagina
  • Hair
  • The vestibular system of the ear
  • Placenta
  • Testes
  • Nails
  • Vas deferens
  • Seminal vesicles
  • Bulbourethral glands
  • Penis
  • Scrotum
  • Parathyroid glands
  • Thoracic ducts
  • Arteries
  • Veins
  • Capillaries
  • Lymphatic vessels
  • Tonsils (Waldeyer’s ring of tissues)
  • Nerves
  • Subcutaneous tissue
  • Olfactory epithelium (nose)
  • Cerebellum
  • What are the 10 most vital organs?

    The ten most vital organs are as follows.

  • Skin
    • The skin is the largest organ in the human body.
    • Its main job is to maintain the body’s temperature.
    • The skin contains sweat glands and oil glands. Oil released by the skin releases helps keep the skin from drying out and the hair from becoming brittle.
    • The skin also regularly sheds cells to maintain its effectiveness.
  • Brain
    • The brain stores information, allows you to think and learn, and controls vital daily functions (such as digestion, heart rate, and breathing).
    • The brain receives impulses from nerves, which are located throughout the body, and responds to pain and other stimulation.
    • Even though the brain is so important, it is also very delicate. The brain is made of soft tissue and is protected only by the skull, therefore head injuries can be serious.
  • Heart
    • The heart is another vital organ. In an average lifetime, the heart beats more than 2.5 million times.
    • The heart’s job is to pump oxygenated blood throughout the body and receive deoxygenated blood in return.
  • Kidneys
    • The kidneys are located under the rib cage in the lower back.
    • The kidneys filter things, such as water and salts, out of the blood and produce urine.
    • The kidneys also produce an enzyme called rennin. This enzyme plays a big role in regulating blood pressure.
  • Liver
    • The liver is in the upper abdomen, slightly to the left.
    • The main job of the liver is to produce bile, which it sends to the stomach for digestion.
    • The liver also filters out toxins and regulates blood sugar.
    • Blood sugar is regulated by the liver, which converts and stores sugar and releases it as needed into the bloodstream. 
    • The liver is also in charge of releasing cholesterol, breaking down fats, and producing blood proteins. It is the largest internal organ.
  • Pancreas
    • The pancreas is located behind the stomach.
    • The job of the pancreas is to produce enzymes necessary for digestion and send them to the stomach.
    • The pancreas also regulates blood sugar by producing insulin.
    • The pancreas also creates glucagon that has the opposite effect of insulin and helps to maintain blood sugar levels.
  • Stomach
    • The stomach receives food from the esophagus and sends it into the small intestine.
    • The stomach’s role in digestion is to break down food and mix it with digestive enzymes.
  • Small intestine
    • The job of the small intestine is to digest food.
    • It does this by using chemicals, such as enzymes.
    • The small intestine also absorbs nutrients and transfers them to the blood.
    • The small intestine is five meters long. The food moves from the small intestine to the large intestine with a series of muscle contractions.
  • Large intestine
    • The large intestine is located in the abdomen and is 1.5 meters in length.
    • The large intestine is involved in digestion. It receives undigested food from the small intestine.
    • The large intestine absorbs as much water as possible from the food and then expels the waste and any excess fiber.
  • Lungs
    • The lungs are located in the chest and are protected by the rib cage.
    • The lungs take in oxygen and they expel carbon dioxide. The lungs deliver oxygenated blood to the heart where it is pumped throughout the body and they receive deoxygenated blood from the heart after blood travels throughout the body.  
  • QUESTION

    What percentage of the human body is water?
    See Answer

    Can COVID-19 damage organs?

    COVID-19 can cause lasting damage to multiple organs, including the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and brain.

    COVID-19 can cause lasting damage to multiple organs, including the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and brain. SARS CoV-2 first affects the lungs through the nasal passages. When the lungs are severely affected, it can affect the heart. When the heart is affected, the virus disrupts blood vessels, forming clots and eventually blocking the blood supply to the brain. When this occurs, brain damage can lead to death.

    The link between these organs is explained by the presence of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors on the cells of these tissues. SARS CoV-2 requires ACE2 receptors to bind to cells and enter them. These receptors are present predominantly in the lungs (which is why the lungs are damaged the most), followed by the heart and kidneys. 

    Once the virus invades the lungs and damages them, it moves to the renal area and heart and causes adverse tissue damage in the respective regions. This leads to multiple organ failures over some time and can cause permanent organ damage or eventual death.

    Latest Health and Living News

    Organ damage and associated complications due to COVID-19

    Lung damage

    • Pneumonia: COVID-19 can cause lung complications such as pneumonia and, in the most severe cases, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Sepsis may also occur, which is a life-threatening condition in which the body damages its tissues in response to infection. Pneumonia causes inflammation of the lungs and fills them with fluid, causing breathing problems. In some cases, breathing problems may become so serious that they require hospitalization with oxygen therapy or machine monitoring. Although most people recover from pneumonia without any long-term effects, pneumonia caused by COVID-19 can be serious for those with preexisting or coexisting conditions. Damage to the lungs and other related problems can cause breathing issues that take months to resolve, leading to more overall complications.
    • ARDS: Following pneumonia, COVID-19 can lead to ARDS, which is a process in which excess fluid gets collected in the lungs and causes blood oxygen levels to fall below normal (hypoxemia). ARDS symptoms are similar to those of COVID-19 and cause damage to the alveoli (air sacs in the lungs) and the capillaries that surround them. In typical COVID-19 cases, the virus attaches to the upper airway near the throat, triggering an immune response and subsequent symptoms. However, in some cases, the virus can go past the upper airway, through the lungs, and into the alveoli, leading to ARDS. ARDS usually appears 8 days after the onset of initial symptoms. Risk factors such as advanced age, diabetes, and high blood pressure increase the likelihood of developing ARDS.

    Heart damage

    Underlying comorbidities such as hypertension, obesity, and cardiovascular disease have been linked to severe illness with COVID-19, and heart complications, such as myocardial injury, heart failure, and arrhythmias have been linked to poor survival. 

    In one recent study. researchers discovered certain cardiac abnormalities and ongoing myocardial inflammation in 60% of patients who recovered from COVID-19. High levels of the blood enzyme troponin (a sign of heart injury) were discovered in 76% of individuals evaluated in the same trial despite the data that their heart function appeared to be preserved. Notably, the majority of the patients in the study did not need to be admitted to the hospital.

    Kidney damage

    Patients who reported no underlying renal problems before being infected with the coronavirus and some people with severe COVID-19 infections have both shown evidence of kidney impairment and tissue damage. Some data suggests that up to 30% of patients with COVID-19 who were hospitalized in China and New York experienced moderate or severe kidney injury. Signs of kidney damage include proteinuria (excess amounts of protein found in the urine) and abnormal blood components.

    Because kidneys have ACE2 receptors, they are subject to attack from the coronavirus. This triggers an immune response that can kill kidney cells. Sometimes, the immune response is violent and causes a cytokine storm, which further damages the organ.

    Liver damage

    ACE2 receptors are also found in the liver. Increased levels of liver enzymes such as alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase have been found in some patients with COVID-19. This is an indication of liver damage. Patients with a history of liver tissue damage (cirrhosis) and those with preexisting liver conditions (chronic liver disease) who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are at high risk of death.

    Nervous system damage

    There is an increase in the number of patients with COVID-19 who experience neurological symptoms such as brain inflammation, seizures, and hallucinations.

    According to a study published in JAMA Neurology by a group of Chinese doctors, more than 33% of 214 patients with COVID-19 who were hospitalized due to severe symptoms in Wuhan had neurologic symptoms, the most common of which were dizziness, headaches, impaired consciousness, loss of taste and smell, and skeletal muscle injuries. Seizures and stroke were more dangerous complications, but these were less commonly reported according to the study.

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    Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2022

    References

    Image Source: iStock Images

    Medscape Medical Reference

    FlexBooks®
    https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-college-human-biology-flexbook-2.0/section/9.4/primary/lesson/human-organs-and-organ-systems-chumbio

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7383117/#Sec12title

    https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/what-coronavirus-does-to-the-lungs

    https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12985-021-01593-1

    https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-kidney-damage-caused-by-covid19

    https://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/ards

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/liver-disease.html

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