Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heart Valves

The heart valves regulate the flow of blood through the heart four chambers. They maintain the unidirectional flow of blood in the heart by opening and closing depending on the difference in pressure on each side.

The heart has four valves: 1) the tricuspid valve is between the right atrium and right ventricle; 2) the pulmonary valve is between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery; 3) the mitral valve is between the left atrium and left ventricle; 4) the aortic valve is between the left ventricle and the aorta.

Each valve has a set of flaps, also called cusps. When working properly, the heart valves open and close fully. Heart valves don't always work as they should. A person can be born with an abnormal heart valve, a type of congenital heart defect.