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During diastole, pressure in the blood-filled left atrium slightly exceeds that in the relaxed left ventricle, and blood flows from left atrium to left ventricle across the open mitral valve. Just before the onset of ventricular systole, atrial contraction produces a slight pressure rise in both chambers.

Atrial contraction

Left atrial pressure Left ventricular pressure

Left atrial pressure Left ventricular pressure

During systole, the left ventricle starts to contract and ventricular pressure rapidly exceeds left atrial pressure, thus shutting the mitral valve. Closure of the mitral valve produces the first heart sound, SjJ

Aortic valve opens

As left ventricular pressure continues to rise, it quickly exceeds the pressure in the aorta and forces the aortic valve open. In some pathologic conditions, opening of the aortic valve is accompanied by an early systolic ejection sound (Ej). Normally, maximal left ventricular pressure corresponds to systolic blood pressure.

Aortic valve opens

Aortic pressure

Left ventricular pressure

Aortic pressure

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