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What do valves do in the heart?

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The heart valves work the same way as one-way valves in the plumbing of your home. They prevent fluid (in your heart's case, blood) from flowing in the wrong direction.

Each valve has a set of flaps, called leaflets or cusps. The mitral valve has two leaflets; the others have three. The leaflets are attached to and supported by a ring of tough, fibrous tissue called the annulus. The annulus helps to maintain the proper shape of the valve.

The leaflets of the mitral and tricuspid valves are also supported by tough, fibrous strings called chordae tendineae. These are similar to the strings supporting a parachute. They extend from the valve leaflets to small muscles, called papillary muscles, which are part of the inside walls of the ventricles.

From: How Your Heart Works WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCE: National Heart Blood Lung Institute, National Institutes of Health.

Reviewed by James Beckerman on November 08, 2017

SOURCE: National Heart Blood Lung Institute, National Institutes of Health.

Reviewed by James Beckerman on November 08, 2017

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How does blood flow through the right side of the heart?

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