Q:

What does the left ventricle do?

A:

Quick Answer

The left ventricle is the main pumping chamber of the heart, and it is responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood to the entire body, as stated by the American Heart Association. The human heart consists of four chambers: the right atrium, the right ventricle, the left atrium and the left ventricle. While each chamber has a unique function, they all work together to form a strong, hard-working pump.

Know More

Full Answer

Cleveland Clinic explains that a normal heart beats about 60 to 80 times per minute, pumping blood throughout the body. Blood initially enters the heart at the right atrium, which is the upper right chamber. This blood, which is low in oxygen, flows through the tricuspid valve and enters the right ventricle. From the right ventricle, the blood is pumped into the pulmonary arteries and is transported to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen. This oxygen-rich blood is returned to the left atrium by the pulmonary veins. The blood in the left atrium passes through the mitral valve and into the left ventricle, where it is pumped into the body's general circulation.

Left ventricular function can be determined by performing an ejection fraction test, most often using an echocardiogram. Cleveland Clinic explains that ejection fraction measures how much blood is pumped out of the left ventricle with each contraction. A normal ejection fraction ranges from 55 to 70 percent. A lower ejection fraction may indicate damage to the heart muscle and usually requires further evaluation.

Learn more about Organs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the function of the apex of the heart?

    A:

    The apex of the heart, consisting of the left ventricle, is responsible for regulating ventricular contraction and sending and receiving information signals from the heart's atrial nodes, according to About.com. The apex is also considered useful by medical professionals as one of the four most common listening areas.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some signs and symptoms of left ventricle heart problems?

    A:

    Problems with the left ventricle of the heart usually cause irregular heartbeat, fatigue, shortness of breath, edema and persistent cough, states Mayo Clinic. Ascites, loss of appetite, sudden weight gain and difficulty staying alert are additional symptoms. Heart failure often starts in the left ventricle; prompt medical attention is necessary.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Which chamber of the heart has the thickest walls?

    A:

    The left ventricle has the thickest myocardial walls, being three times thicker than the right ventricle of the heart, according to AnatomyExpert.com. The left ventricle must have thick walls to pump oxygenated blood throughout the entire body, while the right ventricle only pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • 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.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore