They carry blood to the heart, supplying it with the oxygen and nutrients that the heart muscle needs to function.
The coronary arteries arise from the coronary sinuses immediately distal to the aortic valve and supply the myocardium with oxygenated blood. They branch out and surround the heart to cover its surface with a lacy net that resembles a slightly twisted crown.
They supply blood to the myocardium; that is, the coronary capillaries deliver nutrients to all the cells of the heart.
The typical configuration consists of two coronary arteries, a left coronary artery and a right coronary artery, arising from the left and right aortic or coronary sinuses, respectively.
Right coronary artery
The right coronary artery is one of the main vessels that supply blood to the heart.
It divides into the acute marginal arteries and the right posterior coronary artery. Other arteries that branch off the right and left artery include the left anterior descending artery and the circumflex artery .
The heart needs oxygen in the blood to function. The right coronary artery specifically supplies blood to the right atrium, the cardiac ventricles, and the cells of the right atrial wall, which are called the sinoatrial node.
Injury to the arteries or a malfunctioning artery can cause a heart attack. Diseases that block or impede the artery reduce the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart. Sometimes problems with the right coronary artery go unnoticed due to a lack of symptoms.
Left coronary artery
Supplies blood to the left and back side of the heart.
The left coronary artery has a short common stem, which branches into the left circumflex artery, which runs over the left atrioventricular groove, and the left anterior descending artery, which passes to the apex in the anterior interventricular sulcus.
Left circumflex artery
Importance in cardiovascular diseases
Coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease causes impaired blood flow in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Also called coronary heart disease. It is the most common form of heart disease .
The most common cause of coronary artery disease is vascular injury with accumulation of cholesterol plaque in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis . Reduced blood flow occurs when one or more of these arteries becomes partially or completely blocked.