The human heart has four valves. There is one valve tocontrol the flow of blood for each chamber. Each heartvalve is slightly different in size and character from theothers and each has a different name.The names of the heart valves are:
● Mitral valve
● Aortic valve
● Tricuspid valve
● Pulmonic valve
The heart’s upper chambers are called atria and thelower chambers are called ventricles. Blood withoutoxygen returns from the body and flows into the rightatrium. From there, it is forced through the tricuspidvalve into the right ventricle beneath it. The right ven-tricle pumps the blood through the pulmonic valve andinto the lungs while simultaneously closing the tricus-pid valve. Therefore, the pulmonic valve opens to allowthe blood to flow into the lung and the tricuspid valvecloses to stop blood from flowing back into the rightatrium.
Although the valves have different names on the leftside of the heart, they operate in the same way as theright-sided valves. Oxygen-rich blood returning fromthe lungs flows into the left atrium. When the atriumcontracts, this blood is forced through the mitral valveinto the left ventricle beneath it. When the left ventriclecontracts, the mitral valve closes, stopping the backflowof blood. At the same time, the aortic valve opens, al-lowing blood to flow into the rest of the body. Whenthe left ventricle has finished its contraction, the aorticvalve closes, stopping the backflow of blood, and themitral valve opens, allowing blood from the left atriumto fill the left ventricle.
At any given time in the cardiac cycle, two valves areopen, allowing blood to flow, and two valves are closed,stopping the backflow of blood. When your doctor lis-tens to your heart, he or she can usually hear the open-ing and closing of the valves.
Source: 100 Q&A About Congestive Heart Failure
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