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Internal features (left ventricle, anatomy)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Usually, the inside of the left ventricle demonstrates features corresponding to the different embryological origins of the chamber:

  • part derived from the primitive ventricle:
    • forms the more muscular, thick-walled and rough part of the ventricle that lie inferiorly and to the left
    • trabeculae carneae: particularly prominent and form a reticular network that is very prominent towards the apex
    • muscular part of interventricular septum anteriorly and medially
    • two papillary muscles very prominent
  • part derived from absorbed truncus arteriosus of development:
    • forms the section to the right and superiorly that is smooth-walled
    • includes:
      • smooth part of interventricular septum
      • aortic vestibule
      • aortic valve lying superiorly
      • mitral valve lying posteriorly and to the right

In terms of the the topography of the chamber:

  • the inflow - mitral - and outflow - aortic - valves are in close apposition in the superior 'basal' part of the chamber:
    • they are separated only by the anterior cusp of the mitral valve and the fibrous subaortic curtain
    • therefore, the anterior leaflet of the mitral valve is modified to permit the flow of blood over both its atrial and ventricular surfaces - see submenu
    • the arrangement should be contrasted with the right ventricle - there is almost a complete reversal of the direction of blood flow within the left ventricle between diastole and systole
  • in cross section, the chamber is approximately circular

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