Coronary Blood Vessels
Anatomy and Physiology of the Heart - Part 4
The heart itself is a muscle that requires a supply of blood and nutrients, as well as the ability to remove waste products, and therefore it in itself has its own network of blood vessels, the Coronary Arteries and Coronary Veins.
The blood supply to the heart muscle itself is done through vessels called the Coronary Arteries. Blockage of these arteries causes a severe disturbance in the normal functioning of the heart, such as ischemia, myocardial infarction, chest pain, weakness, tiredness, and typical changes in ECG.
The source of these vessels is behind the leaves of the aortic valve, in the ascending aorta. There are two main arteries - right and left. These divide into smaller arteries that travel across the hearts external surface, covered by sub-epicardial connective tissue.
The heart has three main arteries:
LAD – Left Anterior Descending
CX – Circumflex Branch
RCA – Right Coronary Artery
Arteries that originate from the Left Main Artery:
Arteries that originate from the Right Coronary Artery:
Functions of Coronary Veins:
• Collecting "waste" (blood that is poor in oxygen) from the heart muscle.
• Drain the "waste" into a large sinus on the posterior septal of the right atrium called the Coronary Sinus (CS).