A valve is a natural structure or man-made device in a
passageway, tube, vessel, or hollow organ that allows
fluid or partly fluid contents to travel in one direction, but
closes to prevent the flow of those contents in the
opposite direction. For example, valves are present in
veins (blood vessels that carry blood to the heart) and
prevent blood from flowing away from the heart. Valves
in veins and other structures of the body are
membrane-like folds in the lining of the structure. A
membrane is a thin layer of flexible tissue that covers
WHERE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT VALVES?
The most important valves in the body are those in the veins and in the chambers (hollow,
but not always empty spaces) of the heart. The reason why these valves are so
important is because they make sure that blood flows in the direction needed. Without
these valves, the heart would not be able to pump blood effectively and blood would not
flow correctly throughout the body.
WHERE ARE SOME OTHER VALVES IN THE BODY?
Small valves are also present in the vessels of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic
system is a system of vessels that drain lymph from all over the body back into the blood.
"Where Medical Information is Easy to Understand"™
Lymph is a milky fluid that contains proteins, fats, and white blood
cells (cells that the body fight off diseases). The muscular rings at
the connection points between the stomach and the beginning of the
small intestine, and between the small intestine and large intestine,
are sometimes called valves. The intestine (small and large) is a
tube-shaped structure that is part of the digestive tract. It stretches
from an opening in the stomach to the anus (rear end) and occupies
most of the lower parts of the belly. It should be noted that the
muscular rings between the stomach and the beginning of the small
intestine and between the small and large intestine direct the flow of
fluid but do not prevent the backwards flow of fluid.
You may be wondering how these rings can be called valves if they do not prevent the backwards flow of
fluid. The reason is that any formation or reformation of tissue, or flap-like structure, that resembles or
acts like a valve is called a valve.
WHAT CAN GO WRONG WITH VALVES?
Sometimes, things go wrong with valves. For example, they can stop working correctly. If this happens, fluid will back up and go in the opposite direction when it is not
supposed to. In other cases, valves can become to narrow. In the heart, either one of these problems can lead to heart failure. These problems are sometimes treated by
valve replacement. When valves in the veins of the legs do not work properly, it can lead them to become swollen and distorted. This is known as varicose veins (also
known as spider veins).
IS THERE ANY OTHER DEFINITION OF VALVE?
Yes. A valve can also be a mechanical device by which the flow of liquid is started, stopped, or altered by a movable part that opens, shuts, or partially closes one or more
openings or passageways.
WHAT ARE OTHER MEDICAL TERMS RELATED TO VALVES?
There are many medicla terms related to valves. For example, valvae means more than one valve. Valval and valvar means relating to a valve. Valvate and valvular means
relating to or provided with a valve. Valviform means shaped like a valve. A valvula and valvule is a valve or fold, especially a small one. More than one valvula is known as
WHAT ELSE IS A VALVE KNOWN AS?
A valve is also known as a valva.
WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE TERM, VALVE?
Valve comes from the Latin word "valva" meaning "folding door."