6 doctors weighed in:

Can you explain how the heart valves opening/closing is synchronized with the heart's pacemaker firing?

6 doctors weighed in
David Miller
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Passive valves

The heart valves are passive mechanisms.
They open as blood flows through them. When blood starts to backflow, they slam shut, causing the sounds you hear when you listen to your heart. So long as the valves are functioning properly, the synchronization is all done by the four chambers, with the valves just opening and closing automatically.

In brief: Passive valves

The heart valves are passive mechanisms.
They open as blood flows through them. When blood starts to backflow, they slam shut, causing the sounds you hear when you listen to your heart. So long as the valves are functioning properly, the synchronization is all done by the four chambers, with the valves just opening and closing automatically.
David Miller
David Miller
Answer assisted by David Miller, Medical Student
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Dr. William Scott
Pediatrics - Cardiology
3 doctors agree

In brief: One causes the other

The pacemaker of the heart initiates an electrical impulse that spreads across the upper chambers and causes them to contract.
Contraction of the atria pushes the atrioventricular valves open. Subsequently, the electrical impulse is transmitted to the lower chambers of the heart. The contraction of the ventricles opens the semilunar valves; at the same time the atrioventricular valves close.

In brief: One causes the other

The pacemaker of the heart initiates an electrical impulse that spreads across the upper chambers and causes them to contract.
Contraction of the atria pushes the atrioventricular valves open. Subsequently, the electrical impulse is transmitted to the lower chambers of the heart. The contraction of the ventricles opens the semilunar valves; at the same time the atrioventricular valves close.
Dr. William Scott
Dr. William Scott
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