CardioSpecialists Group, Ltd.
The Anatomy of the Human Heart
What Is the Anatomy of the Heart?
The heart is a muscle that never gets any rest. It beats 70 times per minute, every day from birth until death without pause. When you realize how complex an organ your heart is, you can educate yourself about possible problems which might cause trouble with your heart and health.
What Does the Heart Do?
The task of the heart is to act as a pump for the blood in the body. Blood that has spent its oxygen travels to the heart through the vena cava where it moves into the right upper atrium of the heart. There, it flows into the right ventricle below it. From there, the blood goes into the lungs via the pulmonary artery where it picks up oxygen and becomes red. This oxygenated blood moves back to the heart through the pulmonary vein and into the left atrium, then the left ventricle which is larger and stronger than the right. The left ventricle pumps the blood out of the aorta to the rest of the body. This mechanism is constantly repeated dozens of times per minute to keep your body fueled with oxygen.
What Are the Principal Parts of the Heart?
Just like the heart provides blood rich in oxygen to the rest of the body, it too needs oxygen to operate. A series of arteries surround the heart like a crown. This is where these arteries get their name, coronary from the Latin meaning crown. These coronary arteries deliver the freshest blood to the heart since these branch straight off of the aorta. The heart is the first part of the body to get the freshly oxygenated blood from the lungs since its task is one of the most critical.
The heart has four chambers, two on the right side, and two on the left. These can be seen from the outside by grooves in the surface of the heart called sulci. The sulci are where the blood vessels and some fat rest. Fat can also be found covering the rest of the heat muscle. On the inside of the heart, the ventricles are separated by the interventricular septum.
Between the atria and the ventricles and the ventricles and the pulmonary vein and artery there are a series of valves. These valves act like flood gates to allow the blood to only flow in one direction. Atrioventricular valves (AV valves) regulate the blood flow between the artia and the ventricles. They prevent the blood from moving in the wrong direction. The semilunar valves (SL valves) control the blood flow from the ventricles to either the lungs through the pulmonary SL valve or to the aorta through the aortic SL valve.
When one part of the heart does not function as it should, problems with the pumping of oxygenated blood can occur, but improvements in diagnosis and treatment mean that many heart conditions are easily treated, and a heart problem does not mean that you cannot live a full life.