Heart valves

Four valves control the flow of blood from the atria to the ventricles and from the ventricles into the two large arteries connected to the heart.

  • The tricuspid (tri-CUSS-pid) valve is in the right side of the heart, between the right atrium and the right ventricle.
  • The pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) valve is in the right side of the heart, between the right ventricle and the entrance to the pulmonary artery. This artery carries blood from the heart to the lungs.
  • The mitral (MI-trul) valve is in the left side of the heart, between the left atrium and the left ventricle.
  • The aortic (ay-OR-tik) valve is in the left side of the heart, between the left ventricle and the entrance to the aorta. This artery carries blood from the heart to the body.

Valves are like doors that open and close. They open to allow blood to flow through to the next chamber or to one of the arteries. Then they shut to keep blood from flowing backward.

When the heart's valves open and close, they make a "lub-DUB" sound that a doctor can hear using a stethoscope.

  • The first sound—the "lub"—is made by the mitral and tricuspid valves closing at the beginning of systole (SIS-toe-lee). Systole is when the ventricles contract, or squeeze, and pump blood out of the heart.
  • The second sound—the "DUB"—is made by the aortic and pulmonary valves closing at the beginning of diastole (di-AS-toe-lee). Diastole is when the ventricles relax and fill with blood pumped into them by the atria.

Source: NHLBI (NIH)1

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Heart Valves: Flaps of tissue that prevent regurgitation of Blood from the Heart Ventricles to the Heart Atria or from the Pulmonary Arteries or Aorta to the ventricles.2

Types

Types may include:3

Types of Cardiac Valve:

Anatomy Articles

Read about these related anatomy topics:



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References

  1. Source: NHLBI (NIH): nhlbi.nih.gov/ health/ health-topics/ topics/ chd/ heartworks
  2. Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  3. Source: NCI Thesaurus

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.