The circumflex artery, fully titled as the circumflex branch of the left coronary artery, is an artery which leads off the left coronary artery to supply parts of the heart with oxygenated blood. The other main branch of the left coronary artery is the left anterior descending artery, though there are numerous smaller branches as well. The circumflex artery itself divides into smaller artery systems. The areas of the heart it supplies varies across people, though it always provides part of the left ventricle and the papillary muscle with blood. In less than half of people, it may also supply blood to the sinuatrial nodal artery. With anomalous coronary arteries, the circumflex artery or others may be deformed at birth. Such a defect can present a great danger to the child, especially if taking part in sports as they can risk heart failure. Medication to strengthen, or surgery to repair the artery may be recommended depending on the severity of the case. If a patient has anomalous coronary arteries, they may also have other forms of congenital heart defect. There is no known specific cause for this.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Circumflex artery