Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Coronary Arteries

The coronary arteries are the two blood vessels which arise from two the aorta's valsalva sinuses, supplying the myocardium with oxygenated blood. Dividing into several smaller branches as it runs down across the myocardium, the a right coronary artery supplies most of the right heart, the posterior portion of the intraventricular septum, and a portion of the posterior wall of the left heart. The left coronary artery supplies oxygenated blood to most of the left heart, the anterior portion of the intraventricular septum, part of the right ventricle and a portion of the right anterior papillary muscle. The coronary arteries which travel on the surface of the myocardium are called epicardial coronary arteries, but those that run deep in the heart muscle are called subendocardial.

When one or more branches of the coronary artery gets blocked by atherosclerosis, the cardiac muscle cells in the area begin to die, giving rise to a necrosis (area of dead tissue). This may cause a heart attack.

Coronary Arteries (Video)