Next, we will show you the heart sections in the frontal and top views again. However, the labels and arrows will be removed so that you can use your imagination to follow the flow of blood through the heart. As you visualize the flow, name the various chambers, valves, arteries and veins. Remember that ARTERIES (pronounces art-trees) carry blood away from the heart. The pulmonary arteries carry oxygen-poor blood to the lungs, while the AORTA (pronounced ay-or-ta) carries oxygen rich blood to the rest of the body. The tubes that return blood to the heart are known as VEINS (pronounced vaynes). The pulmonic (pronounced pull-monic) veins return oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium. They connect into the back of the left atrium.
The superior vena cava brings oxygen-poor blood from the head, neck and arms to the right atrium, while the inferior vena cava returns oxygen-poor blood to the same chamber from lower portions of the body. Remember that both the superior and inferior vena cavae (cavae is plural for cava and is pronounced cay-veeh). The superior vena cava connects to the top of the right atrium (and hence the term superior) while the inferior vena cava connects to the bottom of the chamber.