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Anatomy of the Coronary Artery

Gaynor Borade
The human heart is a very powerful muscle. This natural pump solely bears the challenging task of ensuring that every part of the body receives oxygenated blood incessantly. A main processing unit within the heart is the coronary artery.
The human heart functions as the body's processing unit. It is responsible for pumping oxygenated, life-sustaining blood to different parts of the body. This compartmentalized organ is the 'hub' of a 97,000 kilometer long arterial and vein network.
Pulsating ceaselessly more than 100,000 times each day, the heart ensures that the body is consistently supplied with vital oxygen and processed nutrients, simultaneously sifting toxic and harmful waste.
Heart is divided into 4 chambers. It is vertically and horizontally divided into 2 chambers on each side which receive a fresh supply of oxygenated blood via mistral, aortic, pulmonary and tricuspid valves.
The upper chamber or the atrium and the lower chamber or the ventricle are a fusion point for blood vessels called veins. Veins carry blood from the rest of the body to the heart. This blood is concentrated with carbon dioxide and cellular waste. This deoxygenated blood then enters the right atrium.
From there, via the right ventricle, the blood is pumped into the lungs. It is here that the blood is infused with a fresh supply of oxygen. The blood once again returns to the left atrium of the heart, before entering the left ventricle. The life-supporting, oxygenated blood is then pumped throughout the body via the aorta.

Position and Function of the Coronary Artery

There are two coronary arteries that branch off from the aorta. The main task of these arteries is to ensure that the heart is supplied with fresh oxygenated blood consistently. The human heart needs to be supplied with oxygen-enriched blood incessantly, to be able to infuse other body organs with the life-sustaining liquid.
The coronary arteries are located around the heart muscle. They wind around the heart, full of oxygenated blood to revitalize the heart muscle. While the right coronary artery supplies blood to the right side of the heart, the left branch takes care of the opposite chambers.


The heart functions like an exchange chamber in the body. Oxygenated blood received from the lungs is distributed to all parts of the body from the heart; and likewise deoxygenated blood is directed towards the lungs for further processing.
While the heart ensures a timely supply of oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body, the coronary arteries ensure that the heart is itself supplied with the same.
The heart muscle is exclusively taken care of by the coronary arteries. The left coronary artery (LCA) further divides into the circumflex and the left-anterior-descending vessel. It supplies blood to the left atrium and ventricle.
The right coronary artery (RCA) divides into the acute marginal arteries and the right-posterior-descending vessel. This segment supplies blood to the right atrium and the sinoatrial and atrioventricular nodes (cluster of cells that regulate the rhythmic rate of the heart).
It further branches into the acute and obtuse marginal vessels, the posterior descending or PDA vessels, septal perforator, and a number of diagonals. These bifurcations ensure that the heart muscle is well supplied with rich oxygenated blood every second of a lifespan.
The coronary arteries play a very important role in heart health. Hence, any kind of coronary artery disease or accumulation of plaque within these blood vessels results in serious implications. A reduced nutrient and oxygen flow to the heart could result in a heart attack or even sudden death.