Chambers & Valves of the Heart & Their Function

The heart is the vital organ playing the primary role of pumping the blood and transporting oxygen and nutrients to every cell of the body. The structure and function of the heart are very complex. The heart functions continuously involving the complete system. It is essential to learn about the heart’s anatomy and structure.

The Four Chambers Of The Human Heart

The human heart is a lump of muscles consisting of four chambers. The upper two chambers are atria, and the lower two chambers are ventricles. The blood enters the right atrium and passes to the right ventricle. The heart pumps the blood from right ventricle to the lungs to fill oxygen. The pulmonary veins bring back the oxygenated blood to the heart through the left atrium. The blood flows further to the left ventricle. The heart pumps the blood to the aorta from the left ventricle from which the oxygenated blood distributes throughout the body.

The heart has four valves in each chamber. The blood passes through each valve from one chamber to another. The valves keep the blood moving through the heart in the right direction. These valves are flap-like tubes that prevent the backward flow of the blood. These valves act as one-way inlets for blood located on the side of a chamber and one-way outlets for blood on the other side of a chamber. Each valve has three flaps, but the mitral valve has two flaps.

The Four Valves In The Human Heart

The heart valves play a vital role in ensuring healthy blood circulation. It together works with other parts of the circulatory system and helps to transport blood, nutrients, and oxygen to the cells.

Tricuspid Valve

The Tricuspid Valve is between the right atrium and the right ventricle. This valve closes the upper right chamber holding the blood collected from the body. The valve opens for allowing the blood to flow from the top right chamber to the lower right chamber. It prevents the blood from flowing back to the atrium, and the blood flows to the ventricle.

Pulmonary Valve

The Pulmonary Valve is between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery. This valve closes to restrict backflow of the blood to the right ventricle after the blood passes to the pulmonary artery. The heart pumps the blood from the right ventricle to the lungs through the pulmonary artery for oxygenating.

Mitral Valve

The Mitral Valve is between the left atrium and the left ventricle. This valve closes the upper left chamber and collects the oxygenated blood from the lungs. The valve opens to pass the blood to the upper left chamber.

Aortic Valve

Aortic Valve is between the left ventricle and the aorta. This valve closes and prevents backflow of blood to the lower left chamber from the aorta. The valve opens and pumps the blood to the aorta from which the blood distributes to the entire body.

Features Of Properly Working Heart Valves

  • The properly working valves of the heart are flexible and well structured.
  • The healthy heart valves open perfectly allowing the right amount of blood to pass through it to different chambers.
  • The valves of the heart close tightly preventing backflow of blood into the previous chamber.

Functions of Valves of the Heart

The heart muscles contract and relax continuously with which the valves open and close. The opening and closing function of the valves allow blood to flow into the atria and ventricles alternatively. When the left ventricle contracts, the aortic valve closes. At the same time, the mitral valve opens allowing the blood to flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle. Again the left ventricle contracts and the mitral valve closes and the aortic valve open. The entire process of pumping blood throughout the chambers continues without any interruption.

Malfunctions of Valves

The heart valves malfunction in two ways causing severe health hazards! If the valves don’t close completely, the blood will flow back to the chamber instead of flowing forward. The valves opening may also become narrow and will not function properly. Such malfunction will affect the blood flow out of the ventricle or atria. Any or both the malfunctions of the valves will hamper the heart’s ability to pump adequate blood which can be a reason for heart failure!

Last Words

Don’t ignore such health ailments and consult a doctor at the earliest! Detecting the malfunctions in the early period will help to implement the proper and effective treatments for recovery.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 11, 2018

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