Musculi pectinati

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Musculi pectinati
Section of the heart showing the ventricular septum. (Musculi pectinati labeled at center left.)
Latin Musculi pectinati atrii dextri,
musculi pectinati atrii sinistri
Gray's p.529

The musculi pectinati (pectinate muscles) are parallel ridges in the walls of the atria of the heart. They resemble the teeth of the comb, hence the name (which derives from Latin pecten, meaning "comb" or "rake").

Behind the crest of the right atrium the internal surface is smooth. Musculi pectinati make up the part of the wall in front of it.

In the left atrium, the musculi pectinati, fewer and smaller than in the right auricula, are confined to the inner surface of the auricula. This is due to the embryological origin of the auricles, which are the true atria. Some sources cite that the musculi pectinati are useful in increasing the power of contraction without increasing heart mass substantially.

Musculi pectinati should not be confused with trabeculae carneae which are found on the inner walls of the right and left ventricles.

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This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.