Anatomy of the human heart

Anthony J. Weinhaus, Kenneth P. Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


This chapter covers the internal and external anatomy and function of the heart, as well as its positioning within the thorax. Briefly, the heart is a muscular pump, located in the protective thorax, which serves two functions: (1) collect blood from the tissues of the body and pump it to the lungs; and (2) collect blood from the lungs and pump it to all the tissues of the body. The heart's two upper chambers (or atria) function primarily as collecting chambers, while two lower chambers (ventricles) are much stronger and function to pump blood. The right atrium and ventricle collect blood from the body and pump it to the lungs, and the left atrium and ventricle collect blood from the lungs and pump it throughout the body. There is a one-way flow of blood through the heart which is maintained by a set of four valves (tricuspid, bicuspid, pulmonary, and aortic). The tissues of the heart are supplied with nourishment and oxygen by a separate vascular supply committed only to the heart; the arterial supply to the heart arises from the base of the aorta as the right and left coronary arteries, and the venous drainage is via cardiac veins that return deoxygenated blood to the right atrium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Cardiac Anatomy, Physiology, and Devices
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9781588294432
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005


  • Atrium
  • Cardiac anatomy
  • Cardiac skeleton
  • Cardiac veins
  • Cardiopulmonary circulation
  • Coronary artery
  • Mediastinum
  • Pericardium
  • Valves
  • Ventricle


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