The Coronary Circulation

map of coronary arteries

The heart needs its own reliable blood supply in order to keep beating- the coronary circulation. There are two main coronary arteries, the left and right coronary arteries, and these branch further to form several major branches (see image). The coronary arteries lie in grooves (sulci) running over the surface of the myocardium, covered over by the epicardium, and have many branches which terminate in arterioles supplying the vast capillary network of the myocardium. Even though these vessels have multiple anastomoses, significant obstruction to one or other of the main branches will lead to ischaemia in the area supplied by that branch.

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