Last update:

Coronary Veins | Cardiac Veins

Introduction to the Coronary Veins:

After flowing through the myocardium, most (80%) of the oxygen-depleted blood is returned to the right atrium by several prominent veins that run along the surface of the heart (= epicardial veins).

Anterior Veins:

Anterior view of the coronary veins of the heart.
Anterior view of the great cardiac vein of the heart.
Anterior view of the great cardiac vein.
1
2
  • This vessel originates at the apex of the heart and runs superiorly along the anterior interventricular sulcus (next to the anterior interventricular artery).
  • Near the left atrium, the great cardiac vein veers to the left and enters the coronary sulcus (= between the left atrium and ventricle), where it extends to the back side of the heart.
  • One or more left marginal veins typically merge with the great cardiac vein as it traverses the lateral ventricular wall.
  • Small image descriptionanterior cardiac veins also drain blood from the anterior right ventricle directly into the right atrium.
Anterior view of the coronary veins of the heart.
Anterior view of the anterior cardac veins of the heart
The anterior cardiac veins.
1
2
  • Blood is removed from the lateral and posterior right ventricle (and atrium) by the image descriptionsmall cardiac vein, which travels to the posterior surface of the heart in the coronary sulcus (= between the right atrium and ventricle).
Anterior view of the coronary veins of the heart.
Anterior view of the small cardiac vein of the heart.
The small cardiac veins.
1
2
  • Along its path, the small cardiac vein receives blood from one or more right marginal veins.
  • On the image descriptionposterior side of the heart, the great and small cardiac veins merge with the image descriptioncoronary sinus, which empties into the right atrium.
Posterior view of the coronary veins of the heart.
labelled image of the posterior view of the coronary veins: Great cardiac vein, left marginal vein, small cardiac vein, and right marginal vein.
Posterior view of the coronary sinus of the heart.
The coronary sinus on the posterior side of the heart.
1
2
3
Posterior view of the coronary veins of the heart.
Posterior view of the middle cardiac vein
Posterior view of the posterior vein of the ventricle.
The middle cardiac vein and posterior vein of the left ventricle.
1
2
3
  • About 20% of the deoxygenated blood flows directly into the heart cavities from numerous Thebesian veins (= venae cordis minimae) in the myocardium, especially in the left atrium.
  • These small cardiac veins are named after Adam Christian Thebesius, a prominent German anatomist who studied heart circulation in the early 1700’s.

Test yourself:

Anterior view of the cardiac veins: [image descriptionShow/image descriptionHide answers]

Test yourself image of the anterior view of the coronary veins with answers hidden.
Test yourself image for the anterior view of the cardiac veins of the heart with answers shown: Anterior cardiac vein, small cardiac vein, and great cardiac vein.
Review the anterior cardiac veins and test yourself.
1
2

Test yourself:

Posterior view of the cardiac veins: [image descriptionShow/image descriptionHide answers]

Test yourself image of the posterior view of the cardiac veins of the heart with answers hidden.
Test yourself image of the posterior view of the coronary veins of the heart with answers shown: Great cardiac vein, left marginal vein, posterior vein of left ventricle, coronary sinus, small cardiac vein, right marginal vein, muddle cardiac vein.
Review the posterior cardiac veins and test yourself.
1
2