In anatomy, the atrium (plural: atria), sometimes called auricle (although technically the auricle is a separate part of the main atria known as the atrial appendages), refers to a chamber or space. For example, the term is used for a portion of the lateral ventricle in the brain and the blood collection chamber of the heart. The atrium most commonly refers to a chamber in which blood enters the heart, as opposed to the ventricle, where it is pushed out of the organ. It has a thin-walled structure that allows blood to return to the heart. There is at least one atrium in animals with a closed circulatory system. In fish, the circulatory system is very simple: a two-chambered heart including one atrium and one ventricle. In other vertebrate groups, the circulatory system is much more complicated. Their circulatory systems are divided into two types: a three-chambered heart, with two atria and one ventricle, or a four-chambered heart, with two atria and two ventricles. The atrium receives blood as it returns to the heart to complete a circulating cycle, whereas the ventricle pumps blood out of the heart to start a new cycle.
Humans have a four-chambered heart which includes the right atrium, left atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle. The right atrium receives deoxygenated blood from the superior vena cava, inferior vena cava and coronary sinus. The left atrium receives oxygenated blood from the left and right pulmonary veins. The atria do not have valves at their inlets. As a result, a venous pulsation is normal and can be detected in the jugular vein as the jugular venous pressure. Internally, there is the rough musculae pectinati and crista terminalis, which acts as a boundary inside the atrium and the smooth walled part derived from the sinus venosus. There is also a fossa ovalis in the interatrial septum which is used in the fetal period as a means of bypassing the lung.The atrium is depolarized by Calcium.
There are two atria, one on either side of the heart. On the right side is the atrium that holds blood that is deoxygenated. It sends blood to the right ventricle which sends it to the lungs for oxygen. After it comes back, it is sent to the left atrium. The blood is pumped from the left atrium and sent to the left ventricle where it is sent to the aorta which takes it to the rest of the body.
Anatomy of torso, cardiovascular system: heart
base • apex • grooves (coronary/atrioventricular, interatrial, anterior interventricula, posterior interventricular) • surfaces (sternocostal, diaphragmatic) • borders (right, left)
(vena cavae, coronary sinus) → right atrium (auricle, fossa ovalis, limbus of fossa ovalis, crista terminalis, valve of the inferior vena cava, valve of the coronary sinus) → tricuspid valve → right ventricle (conus arteriosus, moderator band/septomarginal trabecula) → pulmonary valve → (pulmonary artery and pulmonary circulation)
pericardium: fibrous pericardium • serous pericardium (pericardial cavity, epicardium/visceral layer) • pericardial sinus
- Human heart anatomy diagram. Retrieved on 2010-07-02.