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Cardiac cycle. Image 3 of 5. Computer artwork of a healthy heart during late ventricular systole of the cardiac cycle (heartbeat) when the ventricles (lower chambers, bottom centre and right) contract. During this stage the atrioventricular valves (cream, centre) between the ventricles and the atria (upper chambers, centre left and right) are shut, preventing the backflow of blood into the atria. The valves between the left ventricle (right) and aorta (upper centre) and the right ventricle (centre) and the pulmonary artery (beneath aortic arch, top centre) are open, allowing blood to flow out of the heart. For a sequence showing the cardiac cycle see P216/544 to P216/548.
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