Coronary: What is it? Collateral Circulation, Cardiac Attack, Symptoms and Treatments

The heart receives its own supply of blood from these arteries. Two primordial arteries branch off from the aorta near the point where the aorta and left ventricle are coupled.

These arteries and their branches provide blood to all parts of the heart muscle.

Left Main Coronary Artery (also called left main trunk)

The left main coronary artery branches into:

  • Circumflex artery.
  • Left anterior descending artery.

The left coronary arteries supply:

  • Circumflex artery : supplies blood to the left atrium, to the sides and to the back of the left ventricle.
  • Left anterior descending artery : it provides the frontal part and the lower part of the left ventricle and the front part of the septum.

Right Coronary Artery

The right coronary artery branches into:

  • Right marginal artery.
  • Posterior descending artery.

The right coronary artery supplies:

  • Right atrium
  • Right ventricle.

Bottom of both ventricles and the posterior part of the septum

The main fraction of the right coronary artery facilitates blood to the right side of the heart, which pumps blood to the lungs.

The rest of the right coronary artery and its main branch, the posterior descending artery, along with the branches of the circumflex artery, cross the area of ​​the lower part of the heart, irrigating the lower portion of the left ventricle and the posterior part of the septum.

What is collateral circulation?

Collateral circulation is a network of tiny blood vessels and under normal conditions, it is not open.

When the coronary arteries narrow to the point where blood flow to the heart muscle is limited ( coronary artery disease ), the collateral vessels can expand and become active.

This allows blood to flow around the blocked artery to another nearby artery or to the same artery beyond the blockage, protecting the heart tissue from injury.

What happens when this complex system fails?

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a pathology in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries.

When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition is called Atherosclerosis . The accumulation of plaque occurs for many years.

Over time, the plaque may harden or break. The hardened plaque narrows the coronary arteries and reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart.

If the plaque breaks, a blood clot can form on its surface. A large blood clot can block, mostly or completely, blood flow through a coronary artery. Over time, the broken plaque also hardens and narrows the coronary arteries.

Angina pectoris

Angina is a chest discomfort or discomfort. It may feel like pressure or that the rib cage is depressed. Pain can also occur in the shoulder, arm, neck, jaw or back area. The condition of angina seems to be a process of indigestion.

A heart attack occurs if the flow of blood with abundant oxygen to a section of the heart muscle is fragmented. If the blood outlet does not recover quickly, that section begins to die.

Without a fast procedure, a heart attack can stimulate serious health problems or death.

The pain gets worse with the movement and goes with the rest. Emotional stress also manages to release the discomfort.

The severity of the pathology can vary, becoming serious due to the accumulation of plaque that continues to force the coronary arteries.

Signs and symptoms

Many patients who have (EAC) have no signs or symptoms, a condition called silent (EAC). It is likely that the condition is not determined, but only when the person shows signs or symptoms of a heart attack, heart failure or an irregular heartbeat.

However, pay attention to:

  • Short of breath.
  • Nausea (upset stomach)
  • Difficulties of sleep.

The fractions of blood cells called Plaqueta are fixed to the site of the lesion and are grouped to create blood clots. If it becomes large enough, it manages to enclose, mostly or completely, the blood flow through a coronary artery.

How to identify a heart attack?

Most infarcts involve discomfort in the center or on the left side of the chest, usually lasting for a few minutes or dispersing and returning.

All chest pain should be checked by a doctor.

Heart failure

Over time, CAD can weaken the heart muscle and stoke heart failure and arrhythmias, it is known as a condition in which your heart is not able to pump blood to compensate for the needs of your body. Arrhythmias are difficulties with the frequency or symmetry of the heartbeat.

The most common signs and symptoms of heart failure are:

  • Respiratory problems.
  • Fatigue.
  • Retention of fluid in the ankles, feet, legs, stomach and veins in the neck.


An arrhythmia is a problem with the frequency of the heartbeat. When you have an arrhythmia, you may notice that your heart skips excessively fast.

Patients refer to the arrhythmia as a jolt in the chest, this is known as palpitations.

On the other hand, this pathology triggers his heart to stop beating suddenly. This condition is called sudden cardiac arrest, since it gives rise to death if it is not treated in minutes.


Treatments for coronary heart disease include heart-healthy lifestyle changes, medications, medical procedures and surgery, and cardiac rehabilitation.

Treatment objectives may include:

  • Decrease the risk of blood clots (blood clots can cause a heart attack).
  • Prevention of complications of Coronary Artery Disease.
  • Reduce risk factors in an effort to slow down, stop or reverse plaque buildup.
  • Relieve symptoms
  • Healthy lifestyle changes for the heart.

Your doctor can recommend healthy lifestyle changes if you have heart disease. Heart-healthy lifestyle changes include:

  • Healthy food for the heart.
  • Keep a healthy weight.
  • Managing stress
  • Physical activity.
  • Give up smoking.

 Healthy eating for the heart

Your doctor can recommend a heart-healthy diet, which should include:

  • Low-fat or low-fat dairy products, such as skim milk
  • Fish with a high content of omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and trout, approximately twice a week
  • Fruits, such as apples, bananas, oranges, pears and plums
  • Legumes, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas and beans
  • Vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and carrots.
  • Whole grains, such as oats, brown rice and corn tortillas

When you follow a heart-healthy diet, you should avoid eating:

  • A lot of red meat.
  • Palm and coconut oils
  • Sugary foods and drinks.

Two nutrients in your diet increase blood cholesterol levels:

  • Saturated fat: is found mainly in foods that come from animals
  • Trans fats (trans fatty acids): found in foods made with hydrogenated fats and oils, such as stick margarine; baked goods, such as cookies, cakes and pies; pretzels; glaze; and coffee creams.

Some Trans fats also occur naturally in fats and animal meats.

Saturated fat increases blood cholesterol more than anything else in your diet. When you follow a heart-healthy eating plan, only 5 to 6 percent of your daily calories should come from saturated fats.

Food labels list the amounts of saturated fats.

Not all fats are bad. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats actually help to reduce the levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Some sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are:

  • Avocados
  • Corn, sunflower and soybean oils.
  • Nuts and seeds, like nuts.
  • Olive, canola, peanut, safflower and sesame oils.
  • Peanut butter.
  • Salmon and trout
  • Tofu.


You should try to limit the amount of sodium you eat. This means choosing and preparing foods that are lower in salt and sodium. Try using low sodium foods and seasonings and “no added salt” on the table or while cooking.

The food labels tell you what you need to know about choosing foods that are low in sodium. Try not to eat more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. If you have high blood pressure, you may need to restrict your sodium intake even more.


Try to limit alcohol consumption. Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and triglyceride levels, a type of fat found in your blood. Alcohol also adds extra calories, which can cause weight gain.

Men should not drink more than two drinks that contain alcohol per day. Women should not drink more than one drink that contains alcohol per day.

keep a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and can reduce the risk of Coronary Artery Disease. Try a healthy weight by following a heart-healthy eating plan and staying physically active.

Knowing your body mass index (BMI) helps you determine if you have a healthy weight in relation to your height and provides an estimate of total body fat.

To calculate your BMI, check the online BMI calculator from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or talk to your doctor.


  • Below 18.5 is a sign that you are underweight.
  • Between 18.5 and 24.9 it is in the normal range.
  • Between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
  • Of 30 or more is considered obese.

A general goal to aim for is a BMI of less than 25. Your doctor or health care provider can help you establish an appropriate BMI goal.

In addition, some of the ways in which people deal with stress, such as drinking, smoking or overeating, are not healthy.

Learning how to manage stress, relax and cope with problems can improve your emotional and physical health.

Consider healthy activities to reduce stress, such as:

  • A stress management program.
  • Meditation.
  • Physical activity.
  • Relaxation therapy
  • Talk with friends or family.
  • Physical activity.

Routine physical activity can reduce many risk factors for coronary heart disease, including “bad” cholesterol, high blood pressure, and excess weight.

Physical activity can also lower your risk of diabetes and raise your “good” cholesterol level, which helps prevent coronary heart disease.

Everyone should try to participate in moderate intensity aerobic exercises at least 2 hours and 30 minutes per week or vigorous aerobic exercises for 1 hour and 15 minutes per week.

Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, is any exercise in which your heart beats faster and uses more oxygen than normal. The more active you are, the more you will benefit.

Participate in aerobic exercises for at least 10 minutes at a time throughout the week.