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Internal features (left ventricle, anatomy)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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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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