Coronary artery

The coronary arteries supply the heart with oxygen and nutrients. Read more about the coronary vessels here!

Coronary artery

The Coronary artery (Coronary arteries, coronaries) are the blood vessels that lie directly to the heart and provide the non-stop myocardial tissue with oxygen and nutrients. They emerge from the left ventricle immediately after they leave the aorta and wind around the heart to capture every part of the musculature. Read everything important about the coronary arteries!

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Coronary artery

  • What are the coronary arteries?

  • What is the function of the coronary arteries?

  • Where are the coronary vessels located?

  • What problems can the coronary arteries cause?

What are the coronary arteries?

The coronary vessels or coronary vessels surround the heart muscle in a wreath-like manner. They are named after the position of their main trunks in the coronary groove of the heart - an annular depression on the outside of the heart, which marks the border between the two atria and the heart chambers.

There are two large coronary arteries that branch out later:

  • right coronary artery: short RCA (right coronary artery) or ACD (Arteria coronaria dextra)
  • left coronary artery: short LCA (left coronary artery) or LMCA (left main coronary artery) or ACS (Arteria coronaria sinistra)

The right coronary artery (RCA cardiac vessel) moves horizontally around the right half of the heart and supplies most of the right heart and the posterior part of the septum (partition between the right and left half of the heart). As Ramus interventricularis posterior (RIVP, RPD) it pulls down on the back of the heart to the top of the heart and supplies the posterior wall of the left ventricle. Adjacent branches provide the right atrium and sinus and AV nodes, which are important for arousal and conduction.

The left coronary artery is larger than the right and is divided into two main branches (with sub-branches): the anterior interventricular ramus (RIVA or left anterior descending coronary artery - LAD) and the circumflexus circumference (RCX). The RIVA cardiac vessel (LAD) descends from the front of the heart between the right and left ventricles and supplies the left ventricle and a narrow strip of the right ventricle. The smaller branch (RCX) supplies the left atrium, moves to the posterior wall of the left ventricle and runs obliquely over its outer wall.

The two coronary arteries with their branches are in contact via numerous connections (anastomoses). However, these can not form a sufficient bypass loop in a closure of one of the branches - the occlusion of a coronary artery always means a heart attack.

The coronary vessels are individually different sizes. In some people, for example, the left coronary artery provides almost the entire heart.

What is the function of the coronary arteries?

The coronary vessels supply the muscles of the heart with oxygen and all important nutrients. Each coronary artery has a specific area supplied by it (some areas of the heart are also supplied from several sides). Between the heartbeats, when the heart muscle relaxes (diastole), blood flows from the aorta into the coronary arteries.

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Where are the coronary arteries?

The coronary arteries lie under the epicardium, the inner leaf of the pericardium (pericardium). They arise from the aorta shortly whose departure from the left ventricle and spin around the heart like a wreath.

What problems can the coronary arteries cause?

As the coronary arteries become increasingly constricted by deposits of fat and calcification (arteriosclerosis), it impairs the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle. Physicians then speak of coronary heart disease (CHD). It manifests itself mostly through pain and a feeling of pressure in the chest (angina pectoris). In the further course of complications such as heart failure, arrhythmia and heart attack can occur. A heart attack usually arises because one of the Coronary artery is partially or completely blocked by a blood clot.


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