16.3 Formation of the cardiac valves - the valve level

The tricuspid and mitral valves (atrioventricular valves)


Quiz 28

Very early in cardiac development the atria, which have formed in the rear upper part, are separated from the ventricles by the sulcus atrio-ventricularis.
In the interior of the heart, endocardial cushions form that grow first both dorsally and ventrally into the lumen.
Somewhat later, these two cushions fuse in the middle of the lumen 18 and thereby divide the av-canal into right and left openings.

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One can first rightly understand the relationships at the valve level when one takes into consideration all the septa that contribute to the separation of the cardiac chambers in this region. This is done best using a section of a ventricle.

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In the cushion area the cardiac jelly looks like a thick basal membrane that protrudes into the lumen and thus fulfills a primitive valve-like function.
In this region, induced by molecules that are given off by the myocardium cells leave the endocardium, assume a mesenchymal form and migrate into the cardiac jelly. It can be experimentally shown that only cells in the atrioventricular region and near the outflow tract can react in this way to an induction of the myocardium.

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