Coronary Artery Disease affects 13 million Americans each year. Coronary artery diseases occurs when plaques form in the coronary artery’s. These plaques consist of calcium, fatty compounds, cholesterol, and various blood clotting components Formation of these plaques in the arteries narrows their lumen, decreasing the amount of oxygen and nutrient rich blood reaching the heart. This decrease in blood flow to the heart is called ischemia, and can result in a heart attack (myocardial infarction).
The coronary arteries originate from the aorta just above the aortic valve. There are 3 coronary arteries the left anterior descending artery (LAD), the left circumflex artery (LCx) and the right coronary artery (RCA). The LAD and the LCx have a common origin from the left main coronary artery. Each of these arteries may have branches as shown.