What is the function of the apex of the heart?


Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

The apex is found to the left in the space between the fourth and fifth rib, known as the intercostal space, reports Blaufuss Medical Multimedia Laboratories. It is the lowest point of the heart. During contraction, the Purkinje fibers carry the signal to the apex of the ventricles first, which causes the heart to contract upwards, causing the blood to leave the ventricles and enter the pulmonary arteries and the aorta, according to About.com. During contraction, known as systole, the apex rotates forward, as the Family Practice Notebook notes. The beat of the apex is referred to as the point of maximum impulse.

The heart functions as the muscle that pumps blood throughout the body's circulatory system, states InnerBody.com. The heart consists of four chambers: the left atrium, the right atrium, the left ventricle and the right ventricle. The blood first enters through the atria and then flows to the ventricles, where it is pumped out through the arteries.

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