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Circumflex Artery of Heart
Cardiovascular System

Circumflex Artery of Heart

Arteria circumflexa cordis

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Origin

There are two main branches of the left coronary artery. These are the circumflex and the anterior interventricular branches.

Course

The circumflex artery travels along the anterior aspect of the heart, within the atrioventricular groove. Here, the left atrial appendage sits over the vessel anteriorly. As the name suggests, the circumflex branch curves to the left and becomes posterior, still within the atrioventricular groove. It continues as far as “the crux” and gives off the posterior interventricular artery in hearts with left coronary dominance (Standring, 2016).

Branches

The branches of the circumflex artery include the left marginal and anterior ventricular branches, which run parallel to the diagonal artery. The artery to the sinuatrial node may arise from the anterior portion of the circumflex artery. The artery to the atrioventricular node arises near the crux in 20% of individuals as a branch of the posterior interventricular artery when left dominance occurs (Standring, 2016). The posterior left ventricular branches in this case are diminished.

Supplied Structures

The circumflex branch contributes to the supply of the left atrium and ventricle.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Coronary artery disease

- Coronary atherosclerosis

- Coronary bypass graft

- Coronary angioplasty

- Coronary occlusion

- Coronary revascularization

- Coronary artery fistula

References

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

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Left Coronary Artery

ScienceDirect image

Left coronary artery flow occurs primarily during diastole, whereas right coronary artery flow to the right ventricle (RV), which involves a lower downstream pressure, occurs in both systole and diastole (see Chapter 39).

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