What does the Mitral Valve do in the heart?

What does the Mitral Valve do in the heart?

The human heart is a remarkable organ that performs the vital task of pumping blood throughout the body. It consists of four chambers, each with its own purpose and function. One of these chambers, the left atrium, is separated from the left ventricle by a valve known as the mitral valve. But what exactly does the mitral valve do in the heart?

Image of heart valves.

Regulating Blood Flow

The mitral valve, also known as the bicuspid valve, plays a crucial role in regulating blood flow within the heart. It is responsible for controlling the flow of oxygen-rich blood from the left atrium to the left ventricle. When the left atrium contracts, the mitral valve opens, allowing blood to flow into the left ventricle. Once the left ventricle is filled, the mitral valve closes tightly to prevent any backflow of blood into the left atrium.

Preventing Regurgitation

One of the primary functions of the mitral valve is to prevent regurgitation or the backward flow of blood. When the mitral valve closes, it forms a tight seal that prevents blood from flowing back into the left atrium. This ensures that blood can only move forward from the left atrium to the left ventricle, allowing for efficient circulation throughout the body.

Ensuring Proper Ventricular Contraction

The mitral valve also plays a crucial role in ensuring proper ventricular contraction¹. When the left ventricle contracts, the mitral valve closes to prevent blood from flowing back into the left atrium. This closure creates pressure within the left ventricle, forcing blood to be pumped out of the heart and into the systemic circulation. The mitral valve acts as a gatekeeper, allowing blood to flow in one direction and facilitating the efficient pumping action of the heart.

Common Mitral Valve Disorders

While the mitral valve is a remarkable structure, it is not immune to disorders. Two common mitral valve disorders are mitral valve regurgitation and mitral valve stenosis. Mitral valve regurgitation occurs when the valve doesn't close properly, leading to the backflow of blood into the left atrium. Mitral valve stenosis, on the other hand, is a condition where the valve becomes narrowed, impeding the flow of blood from the left atrium to the left ventricle. Read more about mitral valve disorders here².


The mitral valve is a vital component of the heart, ensuring proper blood flow, preventing regurgitation, and facilitating efficient ventricular contraction. Understanding the role of the mitral valve helps us appreciate the complexity and importance of the cardiovascular system. By maintaining a healthy heart and taking care of our cardiovascular health, we can support the proper functioning of the mitral valve and the overall well-being of our bodies.



1. Heart Ventricle Contraction | ScienceDirect

2. Mitral valve problems | NHS


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