Heart Structure

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•  Recognition of the chambers and valves of the heart and the blood vessels connected to it in dissected hearts

    or in diagrams of heart structure

A heart is labelled as it would appear in a chest, so the left side of an image represents the right side of the heart (and vice versa)

  • Hint:  The left ventricle pumps blood around the entire body and so has a noticeably thicker myocardium than the right ventricle

Diagram of a Human Heart

human heart

Heart Structure

The structure of the human heart includes the following key components:


  • Two atria (singular = atrium) – smaller chambers near top of heart that collect blood from body and lungs
  • Two ventricles – larger chambers near bottom of heart that pump blood to body and lungs

Heart Valves

  • Atrioventricular valves (between atria and ventricles) – bicuspid valve on left side ; tricuspid valve on right side
  • Semilunar valves (between ventricles and arteries) – aortic valve on left side ; pulmonary valve on right side

Blood Vessels

  • Vena cava (inferior and superior) feeds into the right atrium and returns deoxygenated blood from the body
  • Pulmonary artery connects to the right ventricle and sends deoxygenated blood to the lungs
  • Pulmonary vein feeds into the left atrium and returns oxygenated blood from the lungs
  • Aorta extends from the left ventricle and sends oxygenated blood around the body

Identifying Components of a Dissected Sheep Heart

My Image 1 My Image 2

  Click on the diagram to show / hide labels

Link:  Interactive Sheep Heart Dissection