Q:

What can you learn from a diagram of the heart's arteries?

A:

Quick Answer

Looking at a coronary artery diagram teaches the viewer about the different parts of the heart and their location. A diagram from Cleveland Clinic shows the functions of each part of the heart, according to the Cleveland Clinic website.

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Full Answer

Coronary arteries are the blood supply to the heart and consist of two major arteries, the left and right coronary arteries. The coronary arteries branch off from the aorta, states Cleveland Clinic. The left coronary artery has two parts, the circumflex artery and the left anterior descending artery. Positioned in the upper left, the circumflex artery supplies blood to the side and back of the left ventricle and the left atrium. The left anterior descending artery, located below the circumflex artery, supplies blood to the bottom and front of the left ventricle and the front of the septum.

The right coronary artery gives blood to the bottom of the septum separating the left and right sides of the heart. Positioned to the right of the aorta, the right coronary artery supplies blood to the bottom left ventricle, right ventricle and right atrium. An internal mechanism of the heart called collateral circulation allows the heart to continue functioning in a damaged state, explains Cleveland Clinic. In a normally functioning heart, the network is closed. When a patient experiences coronary heart disease, the openings of the coronary arteries narrow, restricting blood flow. Collateral circulation enlarges the openings of the network of arteries facilitating blood flow around or through the blocked arteries, minimizing damage to the heart.

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