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Right atrium

Definition, function and anatomy of the right atrium.

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Hey, everyone! This is Matt from Kenhub, and in this tutorial, we will focus on the right atrium of the heart.

The atria of the heart, which are known singularly as an atrium, are a pair of blood collecting chambers that comprise two of the four chambers of the heart.

The main function of the atria is to facilitate circulation by rhythmically contracting and relaxing their walls, pushing the blood that is returned to them via the major venous vessels during ventricular systole into the ventricles.

The right atrium is situated just above the right ventricle of the heart and is separated from it by the cuspid valves. The atria are built and held up by rigid endocardial muscle fibers that completely encompass the blood as it flows through them.

The right atrium receives deoxygentated venous flow from the superior and inferior vena cavae, the coronary sinus, as well as the anterior and the smallest cardiac veins. It passes the blood through the tricuspid valve seen on this image highlighted in green, has three septae, and is also known as the right atrioventricular valve.

The main anatomical features of the right atrium include the sinus venarum, which surrounds the opening of the superior and inferior vena cavae as well as the coronary sinus, which in turn, are also major structures.

The walls of the right atrium are made of pectinate muscles which form a pouch known as the right auricle. The crista terminalis separates the cardiac and smooth muscle layers of the atrial walls while the interatrial septum divides the atria.

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