To identify the coronary vessels, the visceral pericardium and epicardial fat must be removed. This must be done carefully to avoid damage to the coronary arteries and delicate cardiac veins (Figure 20.3 and Figure 20.4).
Identify the left coronary artery [indicated by the probe] as it arises from the ascending aorta. It has a short trunk located beneath the left auricle. Shortly after it arises from the ascending aorta, it divides into the anterior interventricular artery (also called the LAD, left anterior descending artery) [cross-section] and the circumflex artery [cross-section]. The left anterior descending artery travels in the anterior interventricular groove (sulcus) to the apex of the heart and the circumflex artery passes in the coronary sulcus to reach the posterior surface of the heart. The circumflex artery gives the left marginal artery that passes obliquely along the left margin of the heart.
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