Why is the left ventricle more muscular than the right ventricle?

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The left ventricle of the heart is more muscular than the right ventricle because the left ventricle has to pump blood a longer distance than the right ventricle. The human heart is divided into a left side and right side. This makes the heart incredibly efficient because it prevents oxygen...

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The left ventricle of the heart is more muscular than the right ventricle because the left ventricle has to pump blood a longer distance than the right ventricle. The human heart is divided into a left side and right side. This makes the heart incredibly efficient because it prevents oxygen poor blood from mixing with oxygen rich blood. The right atrium of the heart receives oxygen poor blood from the body. That blood is pumped down from the atrium into the right ventricle. This blood is still oxygen poor, so it must deposit its load of carbon dioxide and pick up oxygen from the lungs. The distance from the right ventricle to either lung is relatively short, so the right ventricle doesn't need to pump super hard. After making the short trip to the lungs, the blood returns to the left atrium and is now oxygen rich. The blood is then pumped down into the left ventricle in order to be pumped all around the body. The left ventricle needs to be powerful enough to send blood up against gravity into the head as well as all the way out to the body's various extremities. This is why the left side of the heart is more powerful than the right side of the heart.

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It is the functions of the various parts of the heart muscle which define their requirements. The ventricles are chambers that pump blood and it depends on where the blood needs to go. The left atrium and left ventricle are the hardest workers, and the left ventricle actually pumps blood to various parts of the body via the aorta. The right ventricle pumps blood through the pulmonary arteries to the lungs where it is oxygenated.

The walls of the left ventricle are accordingly up to five times thicker to accommodate this increased pressure and volume and the ventricle is larger. Should a heart attack occur, more major organs and tissues would be at risk should it be centered on the left side.   

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