Aortic valve - Definition

June 2017


Definition

The heart is an organ that serves as the body's pump and generates the flow of blood circulation around the body by contracting its muscles, thus supplying the organs with the oxygen they need to function. Comprising four cavities, defined as two ventricles, and two atriums, the heart also contains four cardiac valves that enable blood to flow from one cavity to another, preventing blood backflow where the blood flows in the opposite direction to the heart's circulation. Of the different cardiac valves in the heart, the aortic valve is located between the left ventricle and aorta. When the left ventricle contracts, called ventricular systole, the aortic valve is opened, allowing blood to pass from the ventricle to the aorta. Then, during the stage where the ventricle is filled via the mitral valve, located between the left atrium and ventricle, the aortic valve is closed to ensure this filling process is complete before contraction. When there is a problem with the aortic valve's function, it can be a sign of heart failure, where the blood can flow back from the aorta to the left ventricle during diastole due to a valvular "leak", and aortic stenosis can be reported, where the valve represents a blockage to the blood flow from the ventricle to the aorta.

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Original article published by . Translated by Jeff. Latest update on August 19, 2014 at 12:30 PM by christelle.b.
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