The chordae tendineae of the heart are collagenous strands which extend from the apical margin of papillary muscles of the heart to various areas on the ventricular surface of the valve leaflets. They convey the contraction of the papillary muscles to the valve and so prevent the latter's eversion. Typically, each papillary muscle is the source of many chordae tendinae which diverge to the margins of one or two neighbouring valve leaflets.
These 'true' chordae tendineae are distinct from 'false' chordae tendineae which are fibrous bands passing between:
The chordae tendineae can be subclassified according to the degree to which they ramify before insertion into the valve and the point of insertion - see submenu.
Last reviewed 01/2018