Right coronary artery

The right coronary artery is one of several major vessels that provide blood to the heart. The right coronary artery splits into the acute marginal arteries and the right posterior coronary artery. Other arteries that are derived from the right and left artery include the left anterior descending artery and the circumflex artery. The heart needs oxygen in the blood to function. The right coronary artery specifically provides blood to the right atrium, heart ventricles, and the cells in the right atrial wall, which are called the sinoatrial node. Injuries to the arteries, or a poorly functioning artery, can cause a heart attack. Diseases that block or impede the artery (such as coronary artery disease) reduce the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the heart. Coronary artery anomalies are defects or abnormalities in the artery. This condition is typically present at birth. Sometimes problems with the right coronary artery go unnoticed due to a lack of symptoms. Young athletes, specifically those who have heart attacks while participating in strenuous sports, sometimes have an undetected coronary artery anomaly. According to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburg, this condition has been traced to four to fifteen percent of sudden cardiac deaths in children.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Right coronary artery

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