The heart is one of the essential organs for life and the protagonist of our circulatory system. It is responsible for pumping the oxygenated blood to reach all areas of our body. Although we know its importance, few understand the parts of the heart and their functioning well.
The parts of the heart are many, although, in a very short way, we could say that it is divided into four main cavities: the atria and ventricles. However, there are many other essential components for you to do your job.
The heart is almost completely formed by muscle tissue. This tissue is what allows it to contract and dilate, thus pumping the blood constantly. In this article, we explain the parts of the heart and how they work.
Parts of the heart: the cavities
The parts of the heart are numerous, but it is important to know that they all act in a coordinated manner. This is what allows blood to flow in the right direction and with the necessary force.
First, we must know that the heart is a hollow organ. It is formed by four cavities, which are two atria and two ventricles. Also, this organ is divided into a left and a right part.
This is because of the left atrium contacts, through the mitral valve, the left ventricle. In turn, the right atrium contracts the ventricle on the same side through the tricuspid valve.
The left atrium is the cavity that receives blood very rich in oxygen. This blood comes, from the lung, through the pulmonary veins. Blood passes to the left ventricle through the mitral valve.
When the mitral valve opens, blood passes to the ventricle due to the pressure difference. In this way, the left ventricle receives oxygenated blood, which drives into the aorta. That is, when the ventricle contracts, blood passes to the aortic artery to spread throughout our body. At this point, there is also the aortic valve.
It is another part of the heart that is in the upper area. The right atrium receives oxygen-poor blood through the vena cava. This blood passes to the right ventricle through the tricuspid valve.
It is the last of the cavities. It allows blood to pass into the lungs through the pulmonary arteries. There occurs the gas exchange that causes the blood to reoxygenate.
Other parts of the heart: the valves
The valves are the structures that we have mentioned, located at the entrance and exit of the cavities. They allow blood to flow in only one direction. That is, they make it possible for blood to pass, for example, from the atria to the ventricles, and prevent it from receding into the atria. These are:
- Mitral valve, on the left side.
- Tricuspid valve, on the right.
However, we also found valves in the pulmonary arteries and the aorta. Its function is the same: to prevent blood from returning to the cavity. This is how the heartbeat is effective.
What are the least known parts of the heart?
Although cavities and valves are the best-known parts of the heart, there are other fundamental structures for this organ to function. First, we find the sinus node.
The sinus node is the structure that functions as a cardiac pacemaker. That is, it generates electrical impulses that will be transformed into contraction movements of the heart muscles.
On the other hand, we found the atrioventricular nodule. It is also essential for the heartbeat since it allows the impulse that is generated in the sinus node to be transmitted correctly. The same goes for his fascicles and Purkinje fibers.
The heart is a very complex and essential organ for life. In summary, we can say that it consists of four cavities and valves, which allow blood to always flow in the right direction. However, it is also important to know that there are less known areas, such as the sinus node, which are what allow the electrical impulse to be produced and transmitted properly.
Similarly, it is essential to know that there are blood vessels that contact each cavity. As we can not forget that coronary arteries are responsible for bringing the blood supply to the heart itself.