Arteries are vessels that carry blood away from the heart. The coronary arteries would be the first blood vessels that branch off from the ascending aorta. The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It transports and spreads oxygen rich blood to any or all arteries. The coronary arteries go from your aorta to the heart walls providing blood to the atria, ventricles, and septum of the heart.
Function of the Coronary Arteries
The coronary arteries supply oxygenated and nutrient filled blood to the heart muscle. There are two primary coronary arteries: right coronary artery and left coronary artery. Other arteries diverge from these two primary arteries and extend to the underside section of one’s heart.
Coronary Arteries: Branches
A few of the arteries that go in the primary coronary arteries include:
- Right Coronary Artery – Supplies oxygenated blood to the walls of the ventricles and the right atrium.
- Posterior Descending Artery – Supplies oxygenated blood to the wall of the left ventricle and also the inferior section of the septum.
- Left Main Coronary Artery – Directs oxygenated blood to the left anterior descending artery and also the left circumflex.
- Left Anterior Descending Artery – Supplies oxygenated blood to the anterior portion of the septum together with to the walls of the ventricles and the left atrium (front region of the heart).
- Left Circumflex Artery – Supplies oxygenated blood to the walls of the ventricles as well as the left atrium (back area of the heart).
The heart muscle, like every other organ or tissue within your body, needs oxygen-rich blood to survive. Blood is supplied to the heart by its vascular system, called coronary circulation.
The aorta (the main blood provider to the body) branches off into two main coronary blood vessels (also called arteries).
The right coronary artery supplies blood mostly to the proper part of the heart. The right side of one’s heart is smaller since it pumps blood only to the lungs.
The left coronary artery, which branches to the left anterior descending artery as well as the circumflex artery, supplies blood to the left aspect of one’s heart. The left side of the heart is bigger and much more muscle as it pumps blood to the rest of the body.
What Is Coronary Artery Disease?
Heart disease is due to plaque buildup in your coronary arteries — a condition called atherosclerosis — that contributes to blockages. The arteries, which start out smooth and elastic, become stiff and narrow, confining blood flow to one’s heart. The heart becomes starved of oxygen and also the essential nutrients it has to pump correctly.
How Does Coronary Artery Disease Develop?
From a young age, cholesterol-laden plaque can begin to deposit in the blood vessel walls. As you get older, the plaque weight builds up, inflaming the blood vessel walls and raising the threat of blood clots and heart attack. The plaques release compounds that boost the procedure for healing but make the internal walls of the blood vessel sticky. Afterward, other substances, for example inflammatory cells, lipoproteins, and calcium that travel in your bloodstream start sticking to the interior of the vessel walls.
Eventually, a narrowed coronary artery may develop new blood vessels that go round the blockage to get blood to one’s heart. Yet, during times of increased exertion or strain, the new arteries may not be able to supply enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.
Sometimes, a blood clot may completely block the blood supply to the heart muscle, causing heart attack. If a blood vessel to the brain is obstructed, usually from a blood clot, an ischemic stroke can result. In case a blood vessel inside the brain blasts, probably because of uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure), a hemorrhagic stroke can result.
What Are the Observable symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease?
The most frequent symptom of coronary artery disease is angina, or chest pain. Angina can be referred to as a heaviness, pressure, aching, burning, numbness, fullness, squeezing or painful feeling. It could be mistaken for indigestion or heartburn. Angina is generally felt in the chest, but can also be sensed in the left shoulder, arms, neck, back, or jaw.
Other symptoms that can occur with coronary artery disease include:
- Shortness of breath
- Palpitations (irregular heart beats, skipped beats, or a “flip-flop” feeling in your chest)
- A faster pulse
- Weakness or dizziness