State the function of Chordae Tendineae

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Hint: Heart has a valve at the junction of atria and ventricles. These valves prevent the backflow of the blood back into the atria when the ventricles contract.

Complete Answer:
- Chordae tendineae are the tendon like chord found in the heart. They attach to the atrioventricular valve-AV valves (Bicuspid valve on the left side and tricuspid valve on the right side). On one side they are attached to the valve and on the other side they are attached to the papillary muscles of the ventricles. They are made up of fibrous connective tissue.
- During atrial systole blood flows from atria to the ventricle as the pressure in the ventricle is low. During this time chordae tendineae become relaxed and causes AV valves to be opened.
During ventricular systole pressure in the blood increases and blood starts ejecting out of the ventricles. Due to the blood turbulence AV valve closes.
- During this period chordae tendineae become tightened and keeps AV valves in the closed position. Chordae tendineae pull the valves and thus prevent prolapse and eversion of valves into the atria. Thus blood backflow into the atria does not takes place during ventricular systole
- Thus function of chordae tendineae is to anchor the AV valves to ventricular papillary muscles and keep the AV valves in a closed position during ventricular systole to prevent the backflow of blood into the atria.

Additional Information: If chordae tendineae does not work properly then valves will not function properly. This causes backflow of the blood in atria. Such a condition is called Heart regurgitation in Mitral Regurgitation in which the mitral valve does not close properly.

Note: Valve, Papillary muscle and Chordae tendineae together is called Valve apparatus. Semilunar valves and valves in the vein do not have chordae tendineae.