Crista terminalis

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Crista terminalis is a structure found in the heart. It is a smooth, rounded ridge located in the upper part of the right atrium of the heart. The crista terminalis serves as a landmark for the sinus venosus, an embryonic heart structure that contributes to the formation of the right atrium.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The term "crista terminalis" is derived from Latin, where "crista" means crest and "terminalis" refers to the end or boundary. Thus, the term can be translated as "end crest" or "boundary crest".

Anatomy[edit | edit source]

The crista terminalis is a vertical ridge in the right atrium, extending from the opening of the superior vena cava to the opening of the inferior vena cava. It marks the boundary between the sinus venarum (the smooth part of the right atrium derived from the sinus venosus) and the atrium proper (the rough part of the right atrium).

Function[edit | edit source]

The crista terminalis plays a significant role in the electrical conduction system of the heart. It serves as a natural barrier to the spread of electrical impulses from the sinoatrial node (the heart's natural pacemaker) to the atrioventricular node. This helps to regulate the heart's rhythm and prevent arrhythmias.

Clinical significance[edit | edit source]

Abnormalities or damage to the crista terminalis can lead to various heart conditions. For example, it can be a site of origin for atrial tachycardia, a type of arrhythmia where the heart beats too quickly.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Crista terminalis Resources
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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD