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Crista terminalis

Recommended video: Right atrium [02:17]
Definition, function and anatomy of the right atrium.

The crista terminalis (terminal crest) is a C-shaped ridge located in the endocardial aspect of the right atrium of the heart

This smooth muscular ridge extends along the posterolateral wall of the right atrium, from the orifice of the superior vena cava to the orifice of the inferior vena cava. Inferiorly, the crista terminalis terminates by merging with the valve of the inferior vena cava. 

The crista terminalis corresponds to the terminal groove located on the external surface of the heart. Moreover, the crista terminalis marks the site of the right venous valve of the developing heart. 

The crista terminalis is a site of origin of several pectinate muscles. In addition, the crista terminalis becomes clinically significant when it protrudes significantly into the right atrium and thus resembles a cardiac mass (e.g. neoplasm) in imaging procedures or when it facilitates the occurrence of atrial arrhythmias.

Terminology English: Crista terminalis
Latin: Crista terminalis
Synonym: Terminal crest
Location Posterolateral endocardial wall of right atrium of heart
Function Origin of pectinate muscles, cardiac arrhythmias, resebmling cardiac neoplasm

Test your knowledge on the right atrium and ventricle with this quiz.

Learn about more structures located in the right portion of the heart with the following study unit:

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