Appointments

800.659.7822

Submit a Form

Questions

800.659.7822

Submit a Form

Expand Content

Your Coronary Arteries

The heart receives its own supply of blood from the coronary arteries. Two major coronary arteries branch off from the aorta near the point where the aorta and the left ventricle meet. These arteries and their branches supply all parts of the heart muscle with blood.

Heart coronary arteries diagram

Left Main Coronary Artery (also called the left main trunk)

The left main coronary artery branches into:
  • Circumflex artery
  • Left Anterior Descending artery (LAD)
The left coronary arteries supply:
  • Circumflex artery - supplies blood to the left atrium, side and back of the left ventricle
  • Left Anterior Descending artery (LAD) - supplies the front and bottom of the left ventricle and the front of the septum

Right Coronary Artery (RCA)

The right coronary artery branches into:
  • Right marginal artery
  • Posterior descending artery
The right coronary artery supplies:
  • right atrium
  • right ventricle
  • bottom portion of both ventricles and back of the septum

The main portion of the right coronary artery provides 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, together with the branches of the circumflex artery, run across the surface of the heart's underside, supplying the bottom portion of the left ventricle and back of the septum.

Collateral circulation

What is collateral circulation?

Collateral circulation is a network of tiny blood vessels, and, under normal conditions, not open. When the coronary arteries narrow to the point that blood flow to the heart muscle is limited (coronary artery disease), collateral vessels may enlarge and become active. This allows blood to flow around the blocked artery to another artery nearby or to the same artery past the blockage, protecting the heart tissue from injury.

Talk to a Nurse: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (ET)

Call a Heart & Vascular Nurse locally 216.445.9288 or toll-free 866.289.6911.

Schedule an Appointment

Toll-free 800.659.7822

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

© Copyright 2014 Cleveland Clinic. All rights reserved.

HealthHub from Cleveland Clinic

Read the Latest from Our Experts About cctopics » Heart & Vascular Health
How Doctors ID the Best Treatment for Esophageal Cancer (Video)
10/20/14 8:56 a.m.
Successful treatment of cancer of the esophagus hinges on finding the right treatment for the right patient at the right time. Esophageal cancer is a disease in which malig...
by Heart & Vascular Team
Recipe: Spicy Beef Chili With Butternut Squash
10/17/14 8:00 a.m.
With a perfect flavor balance between the heat of the chili and the sweetness of the squash, this one-pot meal ...
TAVR Procedure Safe for Elderly with Aortic Stenosis
10/16/14 8:36 a.m.
High-risk patients with severe narrowing of the aorta are no longer out of options – even if they’re in their 9...
Whether You’re 30 or 40, Starting to Exercise Improves Heart Health
10/15/14 8:43 a.m.
Research is proving that it’s never too late to start moving to improve your heart health. A recent study found...
What You Need to Know About a Cancer on the Rise (Video)
10/13/14 8:42 a.m.
The incidence of cancer of the esophagus, or esophageal cancer, is on the upswing in the United States. Some ex...