The left ventricle is one of four chambers of the heart. It is located in the bottom left portion of the heart below the left atrium, separated by the mitral valve. As the heart contracts, blood eventually flows back into the left atrium, and then through the mitral valve, whereupon it next enters the left ventricle. From there, blood is pumped out through the aortic valve into the aortic arch and onward to the rest of the body. The left ventricle is the thickest of the heart’s chambers and is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood to tissues all over the body. By contrast, the right ventricle solely pumps blood to the lungs.
Various conditions may affect the left ventricle and interfere with its proper functioning. The most common is left ventricular hypertrophy, which causes enlargement and hardening of the muscle tissue that makes up the wall of the left ventricle, usually as a result of uncontrolled high blood pressure. Another condition that may impact this area is left ventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy, in which the muscle tissue surrounding the left ventricle is spongy or “non compacted;” however, this condition is rare.