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Atria of the Heart

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Atria of the Heart
The Heart: Atria and Ventricles

The Heart: Atria and Ventricles

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Atria of the Heart

The heart is divided into four chambers that are connected by heart valves. The upper two heart chambers are called atria. Atria are separated by an interatrial septum into the left atrium and the right atrium. The lower two chambers of the heart are called ventricles. Atria receive blood returning to the heart from the body and ventricles pump blood from the heart to the body.

Function of the Atria

The atria of the heart receive blood returning to the heart from other areas of the body.
  • Right Atrium: Receives blood returning to the heart from the superior and inferior venae cavae. The superior vena cava returns de-oxygenated blood from the head, neck, arm and chest regions of the body to the right atrium. The inferior vena cava returns de-oxygenated blood from the lower body regions (legs, back, abdomen and pelvis) to the right atrium.

  • Left Atrium: Receives blood returning to the heart from the pulmonary veins. The pulmonary veins extend from the left atrium to the lungs and bring oxygen-rich blood back to the heart.

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