We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Chordae Tendineae?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The chordae tendineae are two tendons in the heart that contribute to the complex series of processes that happen with every cycle within the organ. These tendons are responsible for closing the valves that separate the ventricles from the atria to prevent the backflow of blood, ensuring that the blood is pushed through the pulmonary and aortic valves to circulate through the lungs and the body, respectively. Also known as the “heart strings,” these structures attach to the papillary muscles, which work to control valve movement, and to the tricuspid and mitral or bicuspid valves of the heart.

When the blood flows from the atria to the ventricles, a pressure differential is created that makes the blood want to push back into the atria. The pressure can be strong enough to force the flaps on the tricuspid and bicuspic valves to open, which is where the chordae tendineae come in. The heart strings tense up to keep the valves in position, leaving the blood with only one way to go: up into the aorta and pulmonary artery during ventricular systole, the period when the ventricles of the heart contract.

The processes involved in every heartbeat are carefully timed and entirely automatic, with the heart going through a cycle of contractions to push blood around the body, moving it through the lungs so that it will be oxygenated, and pushing the oxygenated blood into the aorta so that it can circulate through the body, bringing oxygen to the cells. The distinctive thump of the pulse is the result of ventricular systole, in which a contraction of the ventricles is used to build up pressure that forces the blood into the valves which exit the heart.

Sometimes, damage occurs to the valves as a result of disease processes in the heart. In this case, the heart valve may need to be repaired or replaced in a surgical procedure to address issues such as blood leakage which impair the function of the heart. The tendons themselves can also experience damage, usually in the form of rupture. Ruptures can be life threatening, and require immediate intervention.

In surgical procedures involving the valves or chordae tendineae, the patient must be put on cardiopulmonary bypass, with a heart-lung machine doing the work for the heart so that the surgeon can work on a still, mostly bloodless heart. The development of cardiopulmonary bypass allowed surgeons to perform procedures that would have been unthinkable before, when surgeons had to struggle to work with an actively beating heart.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By bear78 — On Aug 12, 2012

The human body and the function of our organs never cease to amaze me.

In the past, I learned about the major arteries which deliver and remove blood from the heart in my biology classes. Since I'm not a med student and the anatomy I learned is very basic, I never learned about chordae tendineae. But from what I understand, the chordae tendineae are as important as an other part of the heart. Just imagine, without the cordae tendineae, our heart couldn't pump blood to the rest of the body.

By burcinc — On Aug 12, 2012

I looked this up because one of the fireman in my town's fire department passed away recently. The article this morning in the paper said that he died from chordea tendineae rupture. Doctors think that while he was fighting the fire, he overworked himself and tore his heart tendons. He collapsed in the burning building and the other fireman close to him pulled him out.

They rushed him to the hospital but weren't able to save him. He was still very young, in his thirties. He was married to my best friend's cousin and has a two year old daughter. It's just so sad.

I never knew that such heart problems can happen to young people. It's unfortunate we lost a great fireman because of it.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.