Where Is Your Heart and What Does It Look Like?

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The heart is located under the rib cage, to the left of the breastbone (sternum) and between the lungs. Your heart is an amazing organ. Shaped like an upside-down pear, this fist-sized powerhouse pumps five or six quarts of blood each minute to all parts of your body.

Outside the heart

Looking at the outside of the heart, you can see:

  • that the heart is made of muscle. The strong muscular walls contract (squeeze), pumping blood to the arteries.

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  • the major blood vessels that enter the heart:

  1. aorta
  2. superior vena cava
  3. inferior vena cava
  4. pulmonary artery takes oxygen-poor blood from the heart to the lungs
  5. pulmonary vein -- brings oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the heart
    the coronary arteries

Inside the heart

The heart is a four-chambered, hollow organ.

It is divided into the left and right side by a muscular wall called the septum. The right and left sides of the heart are further divided into:

  • two atria
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