A Layperson’s Guide to Heart Anatomy

 Heart Anatomy

The first step in understanding heart health is learning about the heart itself-its anatomy and functions. By pumping blood through an intricate system of blood vessels, the heart muscle is responsible for bringing life-giving oxygen to every cell in the body. This process is called circulation. To understand more about your heart and how it functions, follow the path of circulation:

1 VENAE CAVAE — These two veins are the largest in the body; they carry deoxygenated blood (blood without oxygen) to the right atrium of the heart. 6 LEFT ATRIUM – The upper left chamber of the heart contracts and sends oxygenated blood through the mitral valve filling the left ventricle.
2 RIGHT ATRIUM – The upper right chamber of the heart squeezes deoxygenated blood through the tricuspid valve filling the right ventricle. 7 MITRAL VALVE – A “flap” between the left atrium and the left ventricle that allows blood to flow in one direction only.
3 TRICUSPID VALVE — A “flap” between the right atrium and the right ventricle that allows blood to flow in one direction only. 8 LEFT VENTRICLE — The lower left chamber of the heart umps the oxygen-rich blood through he aortic valve into the aorta.
4 RIGHT VENTRICLE — The lower right chamber of the heart contracts and sends the blood through the pulmonary artery. 9 AORTIC VALVE – A “flap” between the left ventricle and aorta that allows blood to flow in direction only.
5 PULMONARY VESSELS — The pulmonary arteries (5A) carry blood to the lungs where the blood loses carbon dioxide and picks up oxygen. The pulmonary veins (5B) carry oxygenated blood to the left atrium of the heart. 10 AORTA – The largest artery in the body branches off into numerous smaller arteries that carry oxygenated blood to the rest of the body

 

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