Pectinate muscles
Section of the heart showing the ventricular septum. (Pectinate muscles labeled at center left.)
Latinmusculi pectinati atrii dextri,
musculi pectinati atrii sinistri
TA24024, 4056
Anatomical terminology

The pectinate muscles (musculi pectinati) are parallel muscular ridges in the walls of the atria of the heart.


Behind the crest (crista terminalis) of the right atrium the internal surface is smooth.[1] Pectinate muscles make up the part of the wall in front of this, the right atrial appendage.[citation needed]

In the left atrium, the pectinate muscles are confined to the inner surface of its atrial appendage.[1] They tend to be fewer and smaller than in the right atrium. This is due to the embryological origin of the auricles, which are the true atria. Some sources cite that the pectinate muscles are useful in increasing the power of contraction without increasing heart mass substantially.[citation needed]

Pectinate muscles of the atria are different from the trabeculae carneae, which are found on the inner walls of both ventricles.[citation needed] The pectinate muscles originate from the crista terminalis.[citation needed]


The pectinate muscles are so-called because of their resemblance to the teeth of a comb, as in pecten.[citation needed]


Public domain This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 529 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. ^ a b Farré, Jerónimo; Anderson, Robert H.; Cabrera, José A.; Sánchez-Quintana, Damián; Rubio, José M.; Benezet-Mazuecos, Juan (2011-01-01), Stephen Huang, Shoei K.; Wood, Mark A. (eds.), "6 - Cardiac Anatomy for Catheter Mapping and Ablation of Arrhythmias", Catheter Ablation of Cardiac Arrhythmias (Second Edition), Saint Louis: W.B. Saunders, pp. 74–102, doi:10.1016/b978-1-4377-1368-8.00006-4, ISBN 978-1-4377-1368-8, retrieved 2020-11-16