Q:

What is the function of the left atrium?

A:

Quick Answer

The left atrium serves as a vessel for blood coming from the lungs and a pump to deliver blood to other parts of the heart, according to Healthline. Oxygen-rich blood from the lungs goes to the left atrium via the pulmonary vein.

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Full Answer

The left atrium is one of the heart’s four chambers, and it is found on the left posterior side, says Healthline. It has slightly thicker walls than the right atrium. Once oxygen-rich blood enters the left atrium, the blood is pumped through the mitral valve into the heart’s left ventricle chamber. It is then pumped into the rest of the body to deliver oxygen.

The University of Rochester Medical Center explains that the heart is composed of four chambers; the upper chambers are called atria, while the lower chambers are known as ventricles. Blood goes through a valve before leaving the heart’s chambers. The valves prevent backward blood flow and serve as one-way inlets for blood entering a ventricle and one-way outlets for blood leaving a ventricle. They open and shut as the heart contracts and relaxes, allowing blood to enter the ventricles and atria alternately. The aortic valve closes and the mitral valve opens so that blood flows into the left ventricle from the left atrium. More blood flows in the left ventricle as the left atrium contracts.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the path the blood follows through the human body starting at the right atrium?

    A:

    Blood enters the heart in the right atrium, passes into the right ventricle and is then pumped to the lungs; after leaving the lungs, the blood travels back into the left atrium, into the left ventricle and then flows into the rest of the body. This is called the mammalian double-circulatory system because it has two distinct circuits. Keeping oxygenated blood completely separate from deoxygenated blood improves efficiency.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between the right and left atria?

    A:

    In addition to their placement, the primary difference between the left and right atria is that the left atrium receives oxygenated blood while the right atrium receives deoxygenated blood. Each atria is fed by different parts of the circulatory system.

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  • Q:

    What are the four chambers of the heart?

    A:

    The four chambers of the heart are the right atrium, left atrium, right ventricle and left ventricle. The atria are the two upper chambers that receive blood from the veins. The ventricles are the two lower chambers that pump blood into the arteries.

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  • Q:

    What does the left ventricle do?

    A:

    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.

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