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Coronary arteries and cardiac veins

Learning objectives

This study unit will help you to:

  1. Identify all main components of coronary circulation.
  2. Name the branches and tributaries of the coronary arteries and cardiac veins.
  3. Master the vascularization and drainage areas of the major blood vessels of the heart.

Watch video

Coronary arteries and cardiac veins comprise the coronary circulation that is responsible for the blood supply and drainage of the heart muscle (myocardium). The two main coronary arteries are the left and right coronary arteries. The former is usually of a larger caliber and typically gives off two main branches that supply a larger area of the heart including most of the left atrium, the left ventricle and the interventricular septum. The smaller, right coronary artery supplies the right atrium, right ventricle, interatrial and interventricular septa, atrioventricular (AV) and sinuatrial (SA) nodes.

The coronary veins can be organized into two groups of veins: the greater and smaller cardiac venous system. The greater cardiac venous system is composed of the coronary sinus and its tributaries, as well as the anterior cardiac veins, atrial veins, and the veins of the ventricular septum. The smaller cardiac venous system is composed of the ‘smallest cardiac veins’ (a.k.a. Thebesian veins) that drain blood directly into the heart chambers.

This video tutorial will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the coronary arteries and their branches and the main cardiac veins and their tributaries.

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched the video about the arteries and veins of the heart, test your acquired knowledge with our quiz. Identify the structures in the video with the identification questions, or really get stuck in with our exam questions.

Do you have more knowledge about the heart that we didn't cover in the previous quiz? No worries, we got you covered. Take our custom quiz about the heart and choosing topics or individual terms that you want to be tested on.

Browse atlas

Take a closer look at the coronary arteries and cardiac veins in the gallery below.


Key points about the coronary arteries and cardiac veins
Coronary arteries and their branches Left coronary artery: Anterior interventricular artery, circumflex artery of heart
Right coronary artery
: Sinuatrial nodal branch, conal branch, atrial branches, ventricular branches, right marginal branch, inferior(/posterior) interventricular artery, atrioventricular nodal branch, right inferolateral branch
Main cardiac veins Coronary sinus and its tributaries (great cardiac vein, middle cardiac vein, small cardiac vein, inferior vein of left ventricle); anterior cardiac veins, atrial and ventricular smallest cardiac veins (Thebesian veins)

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