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Coronary Arteries

Introduction to the Cardiac Arteries:

The heart receives nutrients and gases from it’s own set of arteries, veins, and capillaries. Blood enters the coronary circulatory system through the left coronary artery and the right coronary artery, which exit the aorta just above the cusps of the semilunar valves.

Anterior Cardiac Arteries:

  1. After running a short distance between the pulmonary trunk artery and the left auricle, the image descriptionleft coronary artery (= LCA; left main coronary artery) emerges onto the anterior surface of the heart.
Anterior view of the coronary arteries of the heart
Anterior view of the left coronary artery of the heart
Anterior view of the left coronary artery.
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  1. Near this point, it branches into the image descriptionanterior interventricular artery (= left anterior descending artery or branch; LAD) and the image descriptionleft circumflex artery (= LCX; branch of the left coronary artery).
Anterior view of the coronary arteries of the heart
Anterior view of the anterior interventricular artery of the heart
Anterior view of the left circumflex artery of the heart
The anterior interventricular, and left circumflex arteries.
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  • The anterior interventricular artery lies in the anterior interventricular sulcus and gives off branches that supply blood to the anterior ventricles and anterior interventricular septum.
  • The left circumflex artery runs along the coronary sulcus (= between the left atrium and ventricle) to the posterior side of the heart, where it usually ends in an anastomosis with the right coronary artery.
  1. One or more image descriptionleft marginal arteries (= obtuse marginal arteries (OM) or left marginal branches) typically branch from the left circumflex artery as it travels around the heart.
Anterior view of the coronary arteries of the heart
Anterior view of the left marginal artery of the heart
Anterior view of the left marginal arteries.
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  • The left circumflex artery and its branches supply blood to the left atrium and posterior portions of the left ventricle.
  1. The image descriptionright coronary artery travels along the coronary sulcus (between the right atrium and ventricle), where it typically gives off smaller branches to the right atrium, AV node (80% of people), and SA node (55% – 60% of people).
Anterior view of the coronary arteries of the heart
Anterior view of the right coronary artery of the heart
Anterior view of the right coronary artery.
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  1. Larger image descriptionright marginal arteries (= right marginal branches) also diverge from the right coronary artery as it continues around the heart.
Anterior view of the coronary arteries of the heart
Anterior view of the right marginal artery of the heart
Anterior view of the right marginal branches.
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  • The right marginal arteries supply blood to the lateral wall of the right ventricle.

Posterior Cardiac Arteries:

  1. On the image descriptionposterior side of the heart, the right coronary artery typically (80% – 85% of people) gives rise to the image descriptionposterior interventricular artery (PIV) or posterior descending artery (PDA), which runs along the posterior interventricular sulcus and supplies blood to both ventricles and the posterior interventricular septum.
Posterior view of the coronary arteries of the heart
Labelled image of the posterior view of the coronary arteries of the heart
Posterior view of the posterior interventricular artery of the heart
The posterior interventricular artery.
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Test yourself:

Anterior coronary arteries: [image descriptionShow/image descriptionHide answers]

Test yourself image for the anterior view of the coronal arteries of the heart with answers hidden
Test yourself image for the anterior view of the coronal arteries of the heart with answers shown: right coronary artery, right marginal artery, left coronary artery, left circumflex artery, left marginal artery, anterior interventricular artery.
Review the anterior coronary arteries and test yourself.
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Test yourself:

Posterior coronary arteries: [image descriptionShow/image descriptionHide answers]

Test yourself image for the posterior view of the coronal arteries of the heart - answers shown
Review the posterior coronary arteries and test yourself.
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