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21st World Congress of the World Society of Cardio-Thoracic Surgeons

The following drawings illustrate the typical pattern of coronary arteries found in most people. Variants of the branching pattern are common, but of no major clinical significance. Coronary angioplasty (balloon dilatation) or surgical revascularization can be safely performed despite many variations in the individual branch anatomy. Please feel free to refer to these anatomical drawings when interpreting angiogram results or when studying any of the The Learning Center presentations.

For unknown reasons, most obstructive atherosclerotic plaques occur at major proximal branch points within the coronary system. Fortunately, the smaller tributaries farther down the heart are usually spared. The uninvolved branches provide excellent target vessels for the surgeon to implant bypass grafts during surgical revascularization of the heart. For more information on this subject, please visit The Learning Center presentation on Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

Frontal View


Rear View


Original artwork contributed by Valentino Piacentino III.

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