Coronary circulation

Coronary arteries labeled in red text and other landmarks in blue text.
Schematic diagram of the coronary arteries and veins.
Schematic view of the heart
An anterior left coronary artery.
Base and diaphragmatic surface of heart.
Anterior view of coronary circulation
Posterior view of coronary circulation
Illustration of coronary arteries
The human heart viewed from the front and from behind

Circulation of blood in the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle .

- Coronary circulation

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Coronary arteries

Coronary arteries (labeled in red text) and other major landmarks (in blue text)
heart attack

The coronary arteries are the arterial blood vessels of coronary circulation, which transport oxygenated blood to the heart muscle.

Circulatory system

Several terms redirect here.

The human circulatory system (simplified). Red indicates oxygenated blood carried in arteries. Blue indicates deoxygenated blood carried in veins. Capillaries join the arteries and veins.
Blood flow in the pulmonary and systemic circulations showing capillary networks in the torso sections
Diagram of the human heart viewed from the front
The pulmonary circulation as it passes from the heart. Showing both the pulmonary and bronchial arteries.
Capillary bed
Diagram of capillary network joining the arterial system with the venous system.
Depiction of the heart, major veins and arteries constructed from body scans
Animation of a typical human red blood cell cycle in the circulatory system. This animation occurs at a faster rate (~20 seconds of the average 60-second cycle) and shows the red blood cell deforming as it enters capillaries, as well as the bars changing color as the cell alternates in states of oxygenation along the circulatory system.
Magnetic resonance angiography of aberrant subclavian artery
The open circulatory system of the grasshopper – made up of a heart, vessels and hemolymph. The hemolymph is pumped through the heart, into the aorta, dispersed into the head and throughout the hemocoel, then back through the ostia in the heart and the process repeated.
Flatworms, such as this Pseudoceros bifurcus, lack specialized circulatory organs.
Two-chambered heart of a fish
Human anatomical chart of blood vessels, with heart, lungs, liver and kidneys included. Other organs are numbered and arranged around it. Before cutting out the figures on this page, Vesalius suggests that readers glue the page onto parchment and gives instructions on how to assemble the pieces and paste the multilayered figure onto a base "muscle man" illustration. "Epitome", fol.14a. HMD Collection, WZ 240 V575dhZ 1543.
Image of veins from William Harvey's Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus, 1628

Further circulatory routes are associated, such as the coronary circulation to the heart itself, the cerebral circulation to the brain, renal circulation to the kidneys, and bronchial circulation to the bronchi in the lungs.

Cardiac muscle

One of three types of vertebrate muscle tissue, with the other two being skeletal muscle and smooth muscle.

3D rendering showing thick myocardium within the heart wall.
The swirling musculature of the heart ensures effective pumping of blood.
Cardiac muscle
Illustration of a cardiac muscle cell.
Intercalated discs are part of the cardiac muscle cell sarcolemma and they contain gap junctions and desmosomes.
Dog cardiac muscle (400X)

The cardiac muscle (myocardium) forms a thick middle layer between the outer layer of the heart wall (the pericardium) and the inner layer (the endocardium), with blood supplied via the coronary circulation.

Right coronary artery

Blood supply of the heart, with the right coronary artery labelled.
Right coronary artery
The arch of the aorta, and its branches.
Diagram of a myocardial infarction.
Aorta and coronary arteries at autopsy. The proximal portion of the RCA and its ostium can be seen at the lower left.
Human heart with coronary arteries
Fetal heart - right coronary artery

In the blood supply of the heart, the right coronary artery (RCA) is an artery originating above the right cusp of the aortic valve, at the right aortic sinus in the heart.

Coronary ischemia

Vascular ischemia of the toes with characteristic cyanosis

Coronary ischemia, myocardial ischemia, or cardiac ischemia, is a medical term for a reduced blood flow in the coronary circulation through the coronary arteries.


Blood vessel in humans and most other animals that takes blood away from the heart to one or more parts of the body (tissues, lungs, brain etc.).

Diagram of an artery
Microscopic anatomy of an artery.
Cross-section of a human artery
Arteries form part of the human circulatory system
Diagram showing the effects of atherosclerosis on an artery.

Coronary arteries also aid the heart in pumping blood by sending oxygenated blood to the heart, allowing the muscles to function.


Muscular organ in most animals that pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system.

Human heart during an autopsy
Computer-generated animation of a beating human heart
The human heart is in the middle of the thorax, with its apex pointing to the left.
Heart being dissected showing right and left ventricles, from above
Frontal section showing papillary muscles attached to the tricuspid valve on the right and to the mitral valve on the left via chordae tendineae.
Layers of the heart wall, including visceral and parietal pericardium
The swirling pattern of myocardium helps the heart pump effectively
Arterial supply to the heart (red), with other areas labelled (blue).
Autonomic innervation of the heart
Development of the human heart during the first eight weeks (top) and the formation of the heart chambers (bottom). In this figure, the blue and red colors represent blood inflow and outflow (not venous and arterial blood). Initially, all venous blood flows from the tail/atria to the ventricles/head, a very different pattern from that of an adult.
Blood flow through the valves
The cardiac cycle as correlated to the ECG
The x-axis reflects time with a recording of the heart sounds. The y-axis represents pressure.
Transmission of a cardiac action potential through the heart's conduction system
Conduction system of the heart
The prepotential is due to a slow influx of sodium ions until the threshold is reached followed by a rapid depolarization and repolarization. The prepotential accounts for the membrane reaching threshold and initiates the spontaneous depolarization and contraction of the cell; there is no resting potential.
3D echocardiogram showing the mitral valve (right), tricuspid and mitral valves (top left) and aortic valve (top right).
The closure of the heart valves causes the heart sounds.
Cardiac cycle shown against ECG
Heart and its blood vessels, by Leonardo da Vinci, 15th century
Animated heart
Elize Ryd making a heart sign at a concert in 2018
The tube-like heart (green) of the mosquito Anopheles gambiae extends horizontally across the body, interlinked with the diamond-shaped wing muscles (also green) and surrounded by pericardial cells (red). Blue depicts cell nuclei.
Basic arthropod body structure – heart shown in red
The human heart viewed from the front
The human heart viewed from behind
The coronary circulation
The human heart viewed from the front and from behind
Frontal section of the human heart
An anatomical specimen of the heart
Heart illustration with circulatory system
Animated Heart 3d Model Rendered in Computer

It receives blood from the great cardiac vein (receiving the left atrium and both ventricles), the posterior cardiac vein (draining the back of the left ventricle), the middle cardiac vein (draining the bottom of the left and right ventricles), and small cardiac veins.

Posterior interventricular artery

Base and diaphragmatic surface of heart. (Posterior descending artery not visible, but it runs near the middle cardiac vein, which is labeled at the bottom.)
Coronary arteries (labeled in red text) and other major landmarks (in blue text). Posterior descending artery is labeled at left.
Human heart with coronary arteries

In the coronary circulation, the posterior interventricular artery (PIV, PIA, or PIVA), most often called the posterior descending artery (PDA), is an artery running in the posterior interventricular sulcus to the apex of the heart where it meets with the anterior interventricular artery or also known as Left Anterior Descending artery.

Circumflex branch of left coronary artery

Artery of the heart.

Base and diaphragmatic surface of heart. (Circumflex branch not visible, but would be near the coronary sinus.)
Coronary arteries (labeled in red text) and other major landmarks (in blue text). Left circumflex artery is labeled at right.
Cardiac vessels
Human heart with coronary arteries
Heart coronary territories
Heart left lateral coronaries diagram

(See Coronary circulation for description of dominance.)


Pattern of the disease arteriosclerosis in which the wall of the artery develops abnormalities, called lesions.

The progression of atherosclerosis (narrowing exaggerated)
Atherosclerosis and lipoproteins
Micrograph of an artery that supplies the heart showing significant atherosclerosis and marked luminal narrowing. Tissue has been stained using Masson's trichrome.
Severe atherosclerosis of the aorta. Autopsy specimen.
Progression of atherosclerosis to late complications.
CT image of atherosclerosis of the abdominal aorta. Woman of 70 years old with hypertension and dyslipidemia.
Microphotography of arterial wall with calcified (violet color) atherosclerotic plaque (hematoxylin and eosin stain)
Doppler ultrasound of right internal carotid artery with calcified and non-calcified plaques showing less than 70% stenosis

WS patients develop a considerable burden of atherosclerotic plaques in their coronary arteries and aorta: calcification of the aortic valve is also frequently observed.