Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Heart Health Center

Font Size

Normal Heart

These pictures show the heart from the front. The right side of the heart is on the left side of the heart pictures. The left side of the heart is on the right side of the pictures.

h9991324_002.jpg

Your heart has four separate chambers that pump blood. The chambers are called the right atrium, right ventricle, left atrium, and left ventricle. The right and left sides of the heart are separated by a muscular wall that prevents blood without oxygen from mixing with blood that has oxygen. The heart also has valves that separate the chambers and connect to major blood vessels.

h9991260_001.jpg

Your heart is divided into two separate pumping systems, the right side and the left side.

The right side of your heart receives oxygen-poor blood from your veins and pumps it to your lungs, where the blood picks up oxygen and gets rid of carbon dioxide. The left side of your heart receives oxygen-rich blood from your lungs and pumps it through your arteries to the rest of your body.

Blood travels through your heart and lungs in four steps:

  • The right atrium receives oxygen-poor blood from the body and pumps it through the tricuspid valve to the right ventricle.
  • The right ventricle pumps the oxygen-poor blood through the pulmonary valve to the lungs.
  • The left atrium receives oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pumps it through the mitral valve to the left ventricle.
  • The left ventricle pumps the oxygen-rich blood through the aortic valve out to the rest of the body.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical ReviewerStephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
Last RevisedApril 26, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 26, 2012
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.

Today on WebMD

cholesterol lab test report
Article
Compressed heart
Article
 
Inside A Heart Attack
SLIDESHOW
chocolate glazed donut and avocado
Slideshow
 

Lower Cholesterol 02
QUIZ
Heart Foods Slideshow
Slideshow
 
Compressed heart
Article
doctor looking at xrays
Video
 

Heart Disease And Ed
SLIDESHOW
Lowering Cholesterol Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
lowering blood pressure
SLIDESHOW
Wide Awake For Heart Surgery
VIDEO
 

WebMD Special Sections