JACOPIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JACOPIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
HEART, ILLUSTRATION Anatomy of the heart (anterior view of a frontal cut-away view). The heart is composed of four cavities : the atria in its superior part, and the ventricles in its inferior part. The two ventricles are separated by a thick muscular septum, the interventricular septum. The vena cava superior (in violet, in background) brings the desoxygenated blood to the right atrium ; it is transfered to the right ventricle then propelled towards the lungs via the pulmonary trunk, dividing itself into right and left pulmonary arteries (in violet, in foreground). After its oxygenation, the blood is sent back from the lungs to the heart (left atrium), via the left pulmonary veins (in red, on the right of the image). Then, the heart expels the blood towards the entire body, via the aortic arch (in red), that ramify itself into brachiocephalic trunk , left common carotid artery and left subclavian artery. The tricuspid valves (in beige), on the right, and the mitral valves, on the left, prevent the blood to reflux from the ventricles towards the atria. Those valves are maintained to the papillary muscles, muscular protrusions positionned at the basis of each ventricle, by tendinous cords.
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