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Coronary artery function

What is a coronary artery? 

And where is it? 

What is the function of the coronary artery? 

All of these questions will be answered in this article.

Coronary artery function

Two major coronary arteries branch off from the aorta near the point where the aorta and left ventricle meet. 

What is the function of the coronary artery?

Coronary arteries transport oxygen-laden blood to the heart muscle to nourish it. When we talk about the function of the coronary artery, we mean two main arteries, which are as follows:

1. The function of the left coronary artery

The function of the left coronary artery is to transport blood to the left side of the heart muscle, that is, the left ventricle and the left atrium. 

The main left coronary artery is divided into several branches, which are as follows:

The left anterior descending artery branches off from the left coronary artery and its function is to supply blood to the anterior portion of the left side of the heart.

The reflex artery branches off from the left coronary artery and encircles the myocardium. This artery supplies blood to the outside and behind the myocardium.

2. Right coronary artery function

The function of the right coronary artery is to supply blood to the right ventricle, right atrium, sinoatrial node, and atrioventricular node, which are nodes that regulate the heart rhythm.

The right coronary artery divides into smaller branches which include the right posterior descending artery and the acute marginal artery, along with the left anterior descending artery.

The function of the right coronary artery includes the following:

The right coronary artery helps supply blood to the middle or septum of the heart.

The main part of the right coronary artery supplies blood to the right side of the heart, which in turn pumps blood to the lungs.

The remainder of the right coronary artery and its main branches pass through the surface of the inferior side of the heart, to supply the lower portion of the left ventricle and behind the septum.

The body's response to compensate for coronary artery function when it is blocked

From the above, we conclude that the main function of the coronary artery is to nourish and supply the heart muscle with oxygen-loaded blood.

In contrast, collateral circulation is a network of small blood vessels that are normally closed.

But when the coronary artery and its branches are unable to perform their functions as a result of their narrowing or blockage, the blood vessels in the collateral circulation can enlarge to become vessels capable of transporting blood to the heart muscle.

This helps move blood in another network away from the damaged vessels to ensure that oxygenated blood reaches the heart.

Coronary artery problems

Since the coronary arteries send blood to the heart muscle, any problem in the coronary artery can cause serious health problems that are caused by a reduced flow of oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle.

This, in turn, can lead to a higher risk of heart attack and possibly death.

It is worth noting that the most common cause of heart disease is atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaques in the inner lining of the artery, which causes narrowing or blockage of the arteries and thus causes reduced blood flow to various parts of the body, including the heart muscle.

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