Flow of coronary blood is important in enhancing the cardiac function. When acute events or disease states take place, which hinder coronary flow, outcomes are usually damaging or fatal. If coronary flow of blood goes below the required for metabolic needs, the myocardium is regarded as ischemic, where there is impairment of the heart’s pumping capability. There are as well alterations in electrical activity such as increased fibrillation risk. Lengthy ischemia can result in a heart attack that can lead to irreversible death of myocardial cell (Alexander, Schlant and Fuster).
The coronary system comprises of the heart's arterioles, arteries, venules, cardiac veins, and capillaries. The coronary arteries are the ones that supply oxygenated blood to the myocardium. With regard to microcirculation, after branching the coronary arteries penetrate the epicardium in the heart in order to supply the transmural myocardium with blood (Giudici, Winston and Kappler). The numerous capillaries in the system supply oxygenated blood to every heart cell.
The blood in the cells is then taken back to the heart chamber via venules that merge to form cardiac veins. This blood joins the other deoxygenated blood at the right atrium via the coronary sinus. Several nomenclatures are employed in describing the main cardiac veins. One of these veins is the anterior interventricular vein, which crosses between the right ventricle and the right ventricle. The other major vein is the great cardiac vein, which includes the anterior interventricular vein and progresses in the atrialventricular sulcus (von Ludinghausen). The veins that are located on the left ventricle’s free wall are usually referred to as the left marginal veins or lateral veins.
Alexander, R. W., et al. Hurst's the heart. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1999. Print.
Giudici, M., et al. "Mapping the coronary sinus and great cardiac vein." Pacing and clinical electrophysiology 25.4 (2002): 414-419. Print.
von Ludinghausen, M. "The venous drainage of the human myocardium." Adv Anat Embryol Cell Biol 168.I-VIII (2003): 1-104. Print.