Where Is Your Heart and What Does It Look Like?

Armen Hareyan's picture

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.


  • 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