The tricuspid valve is one of the four heart valves . It is located between the right atrium and the right ventricle . Its function is to allow the blood flow to proceed in one direction , allowing the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide with the lungs for the benefit of the whole body. That is, once pumped from the heart , the blood must continue its path throughout the body.
What is the tricuspid valve?
The heart is a muscle divided into several parts which has the task of pumping oxygen-laden blood to the rest of the body (cells, tissues and organs) in order to feed them, and receive the carbon-rich blood to be sent to the lungs.
The heart valves are small structures with the function of ensuring that the flow of blood from the heart to continue in a single direction, avoiding that come back.
The tricuspid has this name because it is made up of three very robust layers (cusps) and made up of a connective tissue, which open and close in sync with each heart beat. It is an atrioventricular valve equipped with flaps that connect to a valve ring , and therefore to the wall of the heart muscle. The filaments known as tendon cords join the edges of the membranes to the papillary muscles. These filaments are activated by the heartbeat stages, and prevent blood from flowing back to the heart muscle.
What is the tricuspid valve for?
The heart is the engine of the blood circulation , since it causes the oxygen breathed by the lungs to be transported and diffused to the cells of the tissues and organs of the human body. Furthermore, it allows carbon dioxide to reach the lungs, and to be exhaled, since it is a product of cellular metabolism rejection .
The oxygenated blood travels to reach the body organs and tissues through the ‘ aorta , the artery that provides nourishment to the whole body splitting it into several smaller and smaller branches and capillaries. Blood with carbon dioxide slag returns to the heart via the veins.
The tricuspid valve ensures that non-oxygenated blood passes through the orifice located between the right atrium and right ventricle.
The cardiac cycle consists of two phases : a relaxation phase ( diastole ) and a contraction phase ( systole ). Atria and ventricles contract in a coordinated way: first the atria and then the ventricles.
During the diastolic phase , blood flows regularly between the chambers and the atria, since the valves between the atria and ventricles are open. However, blood does not enter the vascular beds because the semilunar valves are occluded . During the systolic phase, contraction of the atria (atrial systole) and ventricles (ventricular systole) occurs . The contraction causes the blood, still present in the atria, to be pumped to the ventricles, after which the valves close.
The system of the atrioventricular valves and the tricuspid valve is controlled by the flow of blood and by the pressure used in the phases of the cardiac cycle: during the ventricular systole , the pressure of the blood exerted upwards against the membranes establishes its closure avoiding that the flow of blood comes back.
The tendon cords , counteracting the movement from below, prevent the valve from being pushed upwards into the atrium. A revival of the heart valves (prolapse) can take place if anatomical or functional defects occur.