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13 parts of the human heart (and its functions)

One of the organs that develops earlier and together with the  brain one of the most important for our survival is the heart.

This organ, the main nucleus of the cardiovascular system, allows the blood to travel and irrigate the different organs of our body. But the heart is not a uniform mass, but is shaped by different elements. In this article we are going to talk about the different parts of the heart.

The heart as the nucleus of the cardiovascular system

The heart is the main organ of the cardiovascular system . It is an organ formed by hollow muscle tissue whose contractions and dilatations cause the blood to be pumped to the rest of the body. Its contraction or systole is the movement by which the blood is allowed to flow out and be propelled into the arteries, while diastole or dilatation allows the blood to come in from the veins.

The pumping of blood causes nutrients and oxygen obtained from other bodily functions such as breathing and digestion to reach the different organs of our body, as well as being released from the waste of its functioning (as with carbon dioxide , which travels to the heart to later go to the lungs and excrete with the breath).

Although its operation may seem simple, the truth is that its beating involves the coordination of movement of the heart muscle and the correct functioning of its different parts . Its importance is such that the cessation of its functions causes our death (unless artificial mechanisms are used that perform their same function).

Although the heart is connected and is influenced by the nervous system, it actually acts largely autonomously.

Parts of the heart and its functions

The human heart is shaped by different parts whose coordinated action allows the pumping of blood. It is widely known that we can find four chambers inside the heart: two atria and two ventricles.

But also keep in mind that there are other elements such as the valves that communicate between them and allow both the blood to pass and not to go back or the partitions that separate them. In general we can find the following parts of the heart .

1. Left atrium

One of the four main heart cavities in which blood is received and pumped . The left atrium is characterized by being connected to the pulmonary veins, from which it receives highly oxygenated blood and then sends it to the left ventricle.

2. Mitral Valve

One part of the heart separates and communicates the left atrium of the left ventricle . Its opening (generated by the systole of the atrium) causes blood to travel between both regions.

3. Left Ventricle

Another major part of the heart. The left ventricle receives oxygen-rich blood from the left atrium and sends it to the rest of the body through the aortic artery.

4. Aortic sigmoid valve

This valve separates the aorta from the left ventricle and allows the opening of the blood through oxygen through the artery to the rest of the body . It opens before the contraction or systole and closes before the dilatation / relaxation or diastole.

Right atrium

The right atrium receives the blood from the veins cavas, already deoxygenated blood, to send it to the right ventricle .

6. Tricuspid valve

Located between the atrium and the right ventricle, the tricuspid valve separates both cavities and allows the blood to pass between them through its opening . It also prevents the blood from returning back once it is closed (which occurs in the case of contraction of the ventricle).

7. Right ventricle

This part of the heart receives the blood from the right atrium and then sends it to the lungs through the pulmonary arteries. There the blood is reoxygenated and then returned to the heart by the pulmonary veins .

8. Pulmonary sigmoid valve

It is a valve that separates the right ventricle from the pulmonary arteries. The contraction of the ventricle causes it to open, allowing the passage of blood into the respiratory system .

9. Atrial septal defect

It is the muscular wall that separates both atria .

Interventricular partition

Muscular wall separating the left ventricle from the right .

11. The sinus or sinoatrial node

This element located in the upper part of the right atrium may not be especially well known, but it is one of the most important parts of the heart since they allow it to function.

And is that this nodule is the structure that allows the heart to beat the general electrical impulses that cause it to contract (similar to what happens with neurons, the heart beats because this element generates action potentials based on chemical equilibrium between sodium and potassium). Its functioning is regulated by the autonomic nervous system, although it can work by itself.

12. Atrioventricular or Aschoff-Tawara nodule

This nodule is another part of the heart whose functioning allows the heart to beat . It conducts and helps to coordinate the electrical impulse initiated in the sinus node. It allows the ventricles not to contract before the blood in the atria passes to them.

13. Hiscules and Purkinje fibers

These are the elements through which the electric impulse initiated in the previous modules moves through the whole heart , allowing, for example, that the discharge reaches the ventricles.

Arteries and veins

Although not properly part of the heart, the following veins and arteries are the ones that maintain a direct contact with him.

1. Pulmonary veins

These are the veins that carry the blood from the lungs to the heart, its content rich in oxygen (it is the only type of vein whose content is abundant in oxygen).

2. Aortic artery

This artery carries oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.

3. Venae cavae

Cavas veins are the blood vessels that reintroduce deoxygenated blood that has gone through the body in the heart.

4. Pulmonary arteries

These are blood vessels that will carry oxygen-free blood to the lungs to oxygenate. It is the only type of artery that carries blood without nutrients or oxygen.

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