Papillary muscle

Papillary muscle
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Papillary muscle Definition

It refers to a tiny muscle inside the heart that serves as an anchor for the cardiac valves. There are two muscles of this type, which are named according to their position in the heart –

  • Anterior Papillary muscle
  • Posterior Papillary muscle

Papillary muscle Location

As aforesaid, these muscles can be found in the heart. The muscles of the right ventricles, three in number, arise in the ventricular wall. The muscles anchor themselves to the cusps or flaps of the atrioventricular valves, such as the tricuspid and mitral valve through the chordae tendineae.

Papillary muscle Function

The muscle contracts to avert prolapse or inversion of the atrioventricular valves. The Papillary muscles located in the left and right ventricles start contracting shortly prior to the ventricular systole. The contraction is maintained all through, which prevents backflow (regurgitation) of the blood of the ventricles into the atrial cavities.

In the absence of these muscles, tricuspid regurgitation can occur.

Papillary muscle Disorders

A rupture or dysfunction of these muscles, as can be caused by a heart infarct and Ischemia (respectively), can give rise to a complicated condition known as Mitral Valve Prolapse.

Papillary muscle Pictures

Take a peek at these assistive images to know about the physical appearance of this cardiac muscle.

Picture of Papillary muscle

Picture 1 – Papillary muscle

Image of Papillary muscle

Picture 2 – Papillary muscle Image


Last updated on February 1st, 2018 at 12:41 pm

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