FRIEDER MICHLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRIEDER MICHLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Macro photograph of the chordae tendineae in a human heart ventricle (1 of the 2 lower, large muscular chambers of the heart). The chordae tendineae are stringlike processes that attach the outer parts of the mitral & tricuspid valves (dividing the left & right atria and ventricles respectively) to projections in the wall of the ventricle (ie connecting with the capillary muscles). Rupture of the chordae, through injury, endocarditis or degeneration results in mitral incompetence (the failure of the mitral valve leading to a reflux of blood from the lower ventricle to the upper atrium).
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