Q:

What is the function of the atrioventricular valves?

A:

The function of the atrioventricular valves is to keep blood in the heart flowing in one direction, according to science educator Regina Bailey for About.com. These connect the atria and the ventricles together. They consist of endocardium and connective tissue. Atrioventricular valves are one of two types in the heart, the other being semilunar.

Atrioventricular valves can be further classified into the mitral valve and the tricuspid valve. According to LearnTheHeart.com, the mitral valve is more important in healthy heart function. When patients with recurring tricuspid valve endocarditis have the tricuspid valve removed, they are not likely to develop heart disease. Several diseases involve abnormalities of the mitral valve, including mitral valve prolapse, mitral regurgitation, tricuspid regurgitation and mitral stenosis.

Mitral valve prolapse is a disease of connective tissue causing the valves to prolapse into the left atrium during systole. This can lead to mitral regurgitation, which is the abnormal backflow of blood from the left ventricle to the atrium. Tricuspid regurgitation involves abnormal backflow of blood from the right ventricle to the right atrium. Mitral stenosis is a decrease in the mitral valve area that disrupts normal blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle. Tricuspid stenosis is a rare condition that may also develop from an abnormal mitral valve, notes LearnTheHeart.com. It involves abnormal stiffening or immobilization of the tissues of the tricuspid valve.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the purpose of the heart valves?

    A:

    The purpose of heart valves is to ensure blood flow continues in one direction. The heart has two types of valves. Atrioventricular valves are located between the atria and ventricles. Semilunar valves, so-called because they are shaped like a half-moon, are found between the left ventricle and aorta and the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery, according to About.com.

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  • Q:

    What does the ventricle do?

    A:

    The heart has two ventricles, which primarily pump blood to the entire body, explains Regina Bailey on About.com. These are the lower two chambers of the heart, and they are separated by a septum into the left and right ventricle.

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    What is the definition of "body mechanics"?

    A:

    Body mechanics is defined as "the study of proper body movement to prevent and correct posture problems, reduce stress and enhance physical capabilities," according to About.com. Most back problems can be attributed to poor body mechanics.

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    What keeps food from going down your windpipe?

    A:

    When you swallow, a piece of cartilage called the epiglottis closes off the trachea, or windpipe, to prevent food from obstructing your airway, according to About.com. The epiglottis flap normally rests in a slightly upright position above the larynx, or voice box. The epiglottis temporarily folds over the larynx opening as food or beverages enter the throat, protecting the trachea and lungs, MedlinePlus states.

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