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Apex of the heart

Recommended video: Anatomy of the heart [10:27]
Overview of the anatomy and functions of the heart.

The apex of the heart is formed by the inferolateral region of the left ventricle.
It lies posterior to the left 5th intercostal space in adults, typically about 9 cm (equivalent to the breadth of a hand) from the median plane.
Despite contraction of the rest of the cardiac muscles, the apex remains stationary during the entire cardiac cycle.

The apex of the heart also corresponds with the location where the sounds of mitral valve closure are most prominent. This is known as the apex beat. This spot aligns with the area on the thoracic wall where the heartbeat can be auscultated. The apex beat may sometimes provide critical diagnostic clues like aortic regurgitation.

The function of the apex of the heart is to assist blood flow regulation. The left ventricle, which forms the apex of the heart, is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood to the body's tissues and organs. During systole, the left ventricle contracts forcefully to pump blood into the aorta and circulate it throughout the body.

Terminology: English: apex of the heart 
Latin: apex cordis
Posterior to left 5th intercostal space 
Assists with blood flow regulation

Learn more about the apex of the heart with this study unit: 

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