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left anterior descending artery (heart, anatomy)

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The anterior interventricular artery, often clinically termed the left anterior descending artery, is a branch of the left coronary artery. It originates at the left margin of the pulmonary trunk, anterior to the left atrial auricle. It descends on the sternocostal surface of the heart within the anterior interventricular groove. During this course it may give off several branches e.g.:

  • left conus artery
  • ventricular arteries:
    • septal - supply the interventricular septum
    • diagonal - supply the left ventricle

Within the groove, the anterior interventricular artery passes around the inferior border of the heart. On the inferior surface of the heart it anastomoses with the posterior interventricular branch of the right coronary artery.

The anterior interventricular artery supplies the:

  • left ventricle
  • right ventricle - small section of outflow tract
  • interventricular septum

The left anterior descending artery is the one most commonly affected by disease, predominantly atherosclerotic narrowing.