Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chordae Tendineae

The chordae tendineae, also called heart strings, are cord-like tendons that connect the papillary muscles to the tricuspid valve and the mitral valve in the heart. The chordae tendineae prevents the valves flaps from being everted (turned inside out) into the right atrium when the right ventricle of the heart contracts to pump the blood into the aorta, thus avoiding a backflow of blood into the right atrium.

In the same way, these cord-like tendons hold in position other flaps, such as the bicuspid or mitral valve. Chordae tendineae are approximately 80% collagen, while the remaining 20% is made up of elastin and endothelial cells.