Heart Defect Specimens
Multiple heart defects often occur together, and there are a number visible in this specimen. First, the aorta is connected to the right ventricle instead of the left. Second, the pulmonary artery connects to both the left ventricle and the right. Third, an opening between the two ventricles allows blood to pass through and mix in the two chambers. Because of these defects, some oxygenated blood makes it to the aorta, because blood passes from the left ventricle to the right ventricle and to the aorta. Still, blood flowing to the body's cells doesn't carry enough oxygen, so a person with these defects has bluish skin.
Aortic valve defect
This heart has an abnormal aortic valve, the valve between the left ventricle and the aorta. Instead of three cusps, or flaps, it has only two. You can see whitish calcium deposits on the defective valve. These deposits stiffen the cusps and interfere with normal functioning. Other defective aortic valves are mounted above the heart.