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Normal Function of the Mitral Valve

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Illustrations copyright 2002 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com

The mitral valve is one of four valves in the heart. It regulates blood flow from the upper left chamber (left atrium) into the lower left chamber (left ventricle), the heart's main pumping chamber.

A normal mitral valve has two flaps, or leaflets. When the heart pumps, blood forces the flaps open, and blood flows from the left atrium to the left ventricle. Between heartbeats, the leaflets close tightly so that blood does not leak backwards through the valve.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical Reviewer John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology
Last Revised November 18, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 18, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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