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Interatrial septum

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

The interatrial septum is a thin fibromuscular wall situated between the right and left atria of the heart. In adults, the interatrial septum has a centrally positioned depression known as oval fossa. This depression marks the place where foramen ovale was placed during fetal development. 

In the postnatal life, the main function of the intraatrial septum is to keep the left and right atria separate. This way the blood from the these two chambers doesn't get mixed with each other. 

In contrast, during fetal development, the foramen ovale functions as a shunt that permits the flow of the blood from the right atrium to the left atrium. With the first breath that baby takes, the pressure from the lungs closes the valve of the foramen ovale and it fuses with the intraatrial septum.

Terminology English: Interatrial septum
Latin: Septum interatriale
Synonyms: Atrial septum, septum atriorum
Definition Fibromuscular wall that separates right and left atria of the heart
Function Postnatal life: keeping the right and left atria separate
Prenatal life: 
Right-left blood shunt

Learn everything about the left and right portions of the heart with the following study units: 

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