Coronary Circulation

Coronary circulation is responsible for the distribution of oxygenated blood to the myocardium (cardiac muscle). Originating from the aorta just past the aortic semilunar valve are the openings to the coronary arteries. One of these openings leads to the right coronary artery. The right coronary artery has two main branches: the posterior interventricular artery, which supplies the posterior walls of the two ventricles of the heart, and the marginal artery, which supplies the right lateral aspect of the heart. The second of the coronary arteries is the left coronary artery. The left coronary artery has two main branches: the left anterior descending artery, which supplies the anterior walls of the two ventricles of the heart, and the circumflex artery, which supplies the left lateral aspect of the heart.

After the blood has passed through the myocardium, the deoxygenated blood is collected by a large vein, the coronary sinus. The coronary sinus empties into the right atrium. There are two primary veins that empty into the coronary sinus: the great cardiac vein, which drains the anterior aspect of the heart, and the middle cardiac vein, which drains the posterior aspect of the heart.

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