Heart Valve Disease

Structure Of The Heart

  • Heart Chambers
-Upper Chambers

--Left and Right Atria: receiving chambers, blood enters the heart through the veins that open into these upper cavities.

-Lower Chambers

--Ventricles: wall of each chamber is lined by a thin layer of very smooth tissue which is known as endocardium.

  • Valves
-Two valves that separate the atrial chambers above from the ventricles below are atrioventricular

-The left valve is the tricuspid which is between the right atrium and ventrical.

-The semi-lunar valves are located between the two ventricular chambers and large arteries that carry blood away from the heart.

  • Paricardium
-consists of two layers

--Inner layer is the visceral paricardium, it covers the heart like apple skin covers an apple.

--Outter layer is parital, it fits around the heart like a loose fitting sock, allowing the heart to beat.

  • Blood Vessels
-Aorta: Systematic circulatory system, large elastic artery.

-Left and Right Pulmonary Artery: Carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs.

-Pulmonary Trunk: Blood exits the right ventricle through the pulmonary trunk.

-Left and Right Pulmonary Vein: Return oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium.

-Superior Vena Cava: Transports oxygen blood from the upper extremities, head, and neck.

-Inferior Vena Cava: Transports oxygen blood from the thorax, abdomen, and lower extremities.

-Arteries: take blood from the heart

-Veins:Bring blood to heart

-Capillaries: Between veins and arteries.

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Blood Flow

  • Right side: deoxgenated
  • Left sidea: oxgenated
  • The blood flow starts from the right atrium (coming from body) it then goes to the right ventrical moving to the lungs then the the left atrium which then goes to the left ventrical and back to the body.
Blood Flow In The Heart
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Conduction System Of The Heart

  • Sinoatrial node: pacemaker
  • Atrioventricular: AV node
  • AV bundle
  • Purkinje fibers
Impulse conduction starts in the hearts pacemaker. It then spread through the atria causing it to contract.
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Main Types Of Blood Vessels

  • Veins: low pressure, bigger than arteries, have valves, bring blood to heart.
  • Arteries: higher pressure, take blood away from heart.
  • Capilaries: form networks joining arteries and veins, really small.
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EKG: record of the hearts electrical activity

  • P: depolarization of atria
  • QRS: depolarizing ventricles
  • T: re-polarization ventricles (back to normal)
**atria re-polarizes but we can't see it happen and it happens during QRS.


Blood Pressure

  • Blood Pressure: the pressure at which the blood stops flowing through your veins and arteries and when the blood starts flowing again.
  1. Blood Volume: the larger the volume the more pressure is exerted on the vessel walls.
  2. Strength of heart contractions: affect cardiac output, stronger heartbeat, increases pressure, weak beat decreases it.
  3. Heart Rate: increased rate increases pressure, decreased rate decreases pressure.
  4. Blood Viscosity (thickness): less than normal viscosity decreased pressure, more than viscosity increases pressure.
  5. Resistance to blood flow (peripheral resistance): affected by many factors, including the vasomotor mechanism, vessel muscle contraction relaxation.
Understanding Blood Pressure - Anatomy


  • EKG: a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity.
* Would not affect this because the valve isn't involved with the electrical activity that the test detects.
  • Heart Sound: a test that detects the rhythmical and repetitive lub dup.
* Definitely affect this test because the valves not working correctly affect your heart beat, making the sound not a lub dup.
  • Pulse: Beats per minute
* Could possibly affect pulse, depending on how leaky the valve is the heart may have to work harder causing the pulse to rise.
  • Blood Tests:
-Hematocrit: A blood test which measures the percentage of the volume of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells.

-WBC count: Blood test to measure the amount of white blood cells in the blood.

-Platelet count: Blood test to measure the amount of platelets are in the blood.
* Would not affect these tests because the heart valve has nothing to do with the blood counts.

  • Blood Pressure: Tests that detects the pressure of blood flowing and stopping.
* Could affect, but not likely to.
  • Stroke Volume: The amount of blood that is ejected from the ventricles of the heart with the heart beat.
* Would affect because the heart is beating extra fast because of the leaky valve.
  • Cardiac Output: A test that refers to how much blood is pumped out of the heart per minute.
* Would affect because the amount of blood is getting pumped at much higher rates than it would if a valve was not leaky.


  • Valves being the wrong size (born with)
  • Valves having malformed leaflets or leaflets not attached correctly (born with)
  • Changed in valve structure due to diseases or infections
  • Rheumatic fever: untreated bacterial infected (usually strep throat)
  • Endocarditis: when germs especially bacteria go into the bloodstream and attack the heart valves.
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack
  • Heart muscle disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Aortic aneurysms
  • Connective tissue diseases


  • Heart Valve Replacement: When heart valve repair isn't an option, heart valve replacement is effective.
  • Heart Valve Repair: Involves the heart valve leaflets that open and close to pump blood through the heart.

Works Cited

Works Cited

"Blood Flow In The Heart - YouTube." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH0QTWzU-xI>.

"EKG, ECG Test - YouTube." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kirg2GuESsE>.

"Hematocrit: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia." National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003646.htm>.

"Major Blood Vessels of the Heart | Great Vessels of the Heart Vessel | Blood Vessels of the Heart." GetBodySmart: Interactive Tutorials and Quizzes On Human Anatomy and Physiology. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. <http://www.getbodysmart.com/ap2/circulatorysystem/heart/anatomy/majorvessels/tutorial.html>.

"Medtronic." Medtronic. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. <www.medtronic.com/patients/heart-valve-disease/treatment/index.htm>.

"PHS school." PHS school. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2012. <www.phschool.com/science/biology_place/biocoach/images/cardio2/BlVesStr.jpg>.

"Understanding Blood Pressure - Anatomy - YouTube." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWti317qb_w>.

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