This is a saggittal view of the left ventricle, the left atrium, and the aortic outflow tract with its three cusps. Note that the ventricle is grossly dilated compared with normal. The wall thickness is much less than the normal 1.5 cm. Such a heart is referred to as decompensated. Decompensation follows compensation for often unknown reasons. This is the anatomical basis of congestive heart failure and has several etiologies.
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