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Structure and Functions of Heart

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  • Last Updated : 12 Jul, 2022
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Before we are going to know about the structure of the heart, we just have to know what is a heart for a human being? and also how it is very important for them? The heart is life for humans because without a heart they cannot even live. Blood transportation over the body is done by the heart itself and also air transportation from the environment to the lungs is done by the heart. 

The heart is an internal organ that is located in-between the lungs in the thoracic cavity in humans. The main function of the heart is to control the flow of blood throughout the body for each part. The heart has four chambers. Those four chambers are given below.

  • Two atria 
  • Two ventricles


Atria are two types. They are the right atrium and left atrium. These are called the upper chambers of the heart.

  • Right Atrium-The right atrium is used to receive blood from veins. Veins contain circulated blood. The right atrium receives that circulated blood from the veins and pumps that blood over the right ventricles.
  • Left Atrium-Left atrium is used to receive the oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pumps it into the left ventricle.


Ventricles are of two types. They are the right ventricle and left ventricle. These are called the lower chambers of the heart.



  • Right Ventricle-The right ventricle has a pulmonary valve that is used for transferring the blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen. The pulmonary valve helps in the regulation of blood flow from the right ventricle to the pulmonary arteries.
  • Left Ventricle-The left ventricle pumps the oxygen-contained blood to the body through arteries. The Mitral valve helps to move blood from the left atrium to the left ventricle.

Evolution of Heart

The heart was coined by William Harvey. In the fourth century B.C, Aristotle identifies the heart as one of the most crucial organs in the human body. Aristotle was a Greek philosopher. The heart receives blood from the vein and then pumps it to all organs through arteries. The heart is a four-chambered organ. It is in-between the lungs. Each chamber has its own specialty. 

Four chambers are two atria and two ventricles. Arties are used for receiving blood from the body whereas two ventricles are used for pumping purpose of blood to all body parts. 

  • Chamber-1: Right atria takes deoxygenated blood and gives it to the right ventricle.
  • Chamber-2: Right ventricle takes deoxygenated blood from the right atria and converts deoxygenated blood to oxygenated blood when it goes through the lungs and then it pumps to all parts of the body with pure oxygenated blood.
  • Chamber-3: Left atria takes oxygenated blood and gives it to the left ventricle
  • Chamber 4:Left ventricle takes all the oxygenated blood through the left atria it pumps the blood through the aorta.

The disadvantage of 2 chambered hearts

  • Because the two-chambered heart has only two chambers called the atrium and ventricle heart is less efficient in pumping.
  • Because of the 2 chambers heart pumps mostly partially oxygenated blood to all the parts of the body.
  • This type of 2-chambered heart is not suggested to humans.

The disadvantage of 3 chambered heart

  • Because the three-chambered heart has only three chambers which are two atria and one ventricle. This three-chambered heart is less efficient than a four-chambered heart because of the following reasons.
    • Two atria receive blood only and one ventricle pumps blood to various parts of the body. In this process, oxygenated blood might combine with deoxygenated blood. This is the main reason for this is less efficient compared to four-chambered hearts.
  • The process of pumping takes too much time because of one ventricle.
  • These are the reasons 3 chambered heart is not suited for humans. Four chambered heart is suggested for humans because it pumps pure oxygenated blood because of the different chambers for pumping and taking blood.

The function of the Four chambers

Chambers in the heart act like doorsteps to open the valve or close the valve based on the functions of chambers. Four chambers have a four-valve is used to distinguish the oxygen-rich blood from deoxygenated blood. Chambers of the heart are made of muscles allowing the heart their contract and then it forms a beat called a heartbeat. The flow of blood in our body is a cycle that follows

human body—–>heart——> lungs——->heart——–> human body.

Right Atrium

The right atrium takes all the deoxygenated blood from our body. Deoxygenated blood means blood has low oxygen. That deoxygenated blood enters through two large veins which are called superior vena cava. This right atrium passed the blood next chamber called the right ventricle.

Left Atrium

The left atrium takes all the oxygenated blood for our body. We have two atriums the right atrium holds oxygen-poor blood whereas the left atrium holds oxygen-rich blood. This left atrium sends this oxygen-rich blood through the mitral valve to the left ventricle.

Right Ventricle

Deoxygenated blood in the right atrium is entered through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle. The function of the right ventricle is pumping blood through the pulmonary valve into pulmonary arteries and it came out to our lungs. In the lungs, blood takes oxygen to nourish. After this blood travels from pulmonary veins and gives back to the left atrium.

Left Ventricle

The left ventricle is the last chamber of the heart. The function of the left ventricle is to pump the blood through our aortic valve this is why it travels throughout the body.


Valves that help in the flow of blood from one chamber to another chamber:

  • The tricuspid valve: Tricuspid valve helps in control blood flow from the right atrium to the right ventricle. 
  • The pulmonary valve: Pulmonary valve is used to regulate blood flow from the right ventricle to the pulmonary arteries. 
  • The mitral valve: Mitral valve that opens to allow blood to move from the left atrium to the left ventricle. 
  • The aortic valve: The aortic valve is divided into three cusps some people called the tricuspid aortic valve, whereas some people are born with two cusps called the bicuspid aortic valve. The aortic that allows oxygen-rich blood to move from the left ventricle to the aorta, the body’s largest artery. 
  • Tricuspid aortic valve: Tricuspid valve is located between the right lower heart chamber which is called the right ventricle and the right upper heart chamber which is called the right atrium. The main function of the tricuspid valves is to transfer blood flowing into the heart from the body to the right ventricle where it needs to pump the oxygen to the lungs.
  • Bicuspid aortic valve: Bicuspid aortic valve is an aortic valve that only has two leaflets or two cusps, instead of three. The bicuspid aortic valve regulates blood flow from the heart into the aorta.

The heartbeat of different aged people is tabled below

Age of a human beingHeartbeat
Newborn baby120-160 beats per minute
5 months baby90-150 beats per minute
6-12 months baby80-140 beats per minute
1- 3 years80-130 beats per minute
3- 5 years80-120 beats per minute
6-10 years70-110 beats per minute
11-14 years60-105 beats per minute
15+ age60-100 beats per minute

Function of Heart

  • The main function of the heart is to pump blood to every part of the body.
  • The human heart is to maintain suitable pressure in the body.
  • The human heart is to transfer oxygen, Hormones, and glucose to other parts of the body while pumping blood.

Important points regarding heart

  • The average heartbeat in a day is 100,000 times.
  • Male heart weight is about approximately 340 grams whereas female heart weight is approximately 280 grams.
  • The heart pumps blood around 60000 to 7,5000 liters in a day through the body.


  • Heart Arrhythmias: Irregularities in the beating of the heart.
  • Heart Valve Disease: Abnormalities in opening and closing of valves in the heart.
  • Heart Failure: Failure in pumping the blood throughout the body.
  • Coronary Artery Disease: Blockage in the artery.

Conceptual Question

Question 1: What are the essential needs for a healthy heart? Explain.


There are 7 types of important essentials when come to vitamins. They are.

  • Folate
  • Inositol
  • Coenzyme CoQ10
  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Magnesium
  • Grape seed extract

Vegetables, walnuts, and herbs are healthier for the heart. The above seven important vitamins for a healthier heart nowadays.

Question 2: Is the heart can be able to transplant from one body to another for human beings. Explain


Yes, we can able to transplant hearts from one human being to another human being. The donor requires a suitable heart without any disease. The donor has the same blood as the patient needs to transplant. An average of 50 percent of human beings can live at least 10 years after transplantation.

Question 3: Is it possible to transplant an animal heart to a human being. Explain


Yes, it is possible to transplant animal hearts to human beings. This transplantation is not for long years to live for human beings. A man who has transplantation with a pig has died after 2 months. Pigs are suitable donors for human beings.

Question 4: Is it possible having three chambers in the heart. Explain.


No. It is not possible having a heart with three chambers. A heart with four chambers has a proper order of opening and closing. If one chamber in the heart fails or it is disabled then there occurs a problem in the flowing of blood to all the parts of the body. If there is no blood means humans cannot able to survive. 

Question 5: Which animal heart is stronger that leads to a long life? 


The blue whale has the strongest heart which pumps 58 gallons of blood throughout the body. Blue whales around them lack predators. This is the reason the blue whale lives long.

Question 6: Depletion of what kind of vitamin leads to losing more blood? Explain.


Depletion of Vitamin K leads to losing more blood. If there is an injury occurred on the skin heart detects the injury. If the vitamin K in the blood is enough then there is no chance of losing blood else heart cannot release vitamin K for healing operations.

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