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Ventricles of the Heart

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Ventricles of the Heart
The Heart

The Heart

Image courtesy of MedValet

Ventricles of the Heart

The heart is divided into four chambers that are connected by heart valves. The lower two chambers of the heart are called ventricles. They are separated by a septum into the left ventricle and the right ventricle. The upper two heart chambers are called atria. Atria receive blood returning to the heart from the body and ventricles pump blood from the heart to the body. Due to the force needed to pump blood to the body, ventricles have thicker walls than do atria.

Function of the Ventricles

The ventricles of the heart function to pump blood to the entire body.
  • Right ventricle: Receives blood from the right atrium and pumps it to the main pulmonary artery. The main pulmonary artery extends from the right ventricle and branches into left and right pulmonary arteries, which extend to the lungs. Here oxygen-poor blood picks up oxygen and is returned to the heart via the pulmonary veins.

  • Left ventricle: Receives blood from the left atrium and pumps it to the aorta. The aorta carries and distributes oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.

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