Great cardiac vein

The great cardiac vein (left coronary vein) begins at the apex of the heart and ascends along the anterior longitudinal sulcus to the base of the ventricles.

Great cardiac vein
Base and diaphragmatic surface of heart. (Great cardiac vein labeled at center left.)
Pulmonary vessels, seen in a dorsal view of the heart and lungs. The lungs have been pulled away from the median line, and a part of the right lung has been cut away to display the air-ducts and bloodvessels (great coronary vein labeled at center bottom).
Drains toCoronary sinus
LatinVena cordis magna,
vena cardiaca magna
Anatomical terminology

It then curves around the left margin of the heart to reach the posterior surface. It merges with the oblique vein of the left atrium to form the coronary sinus,[1] which drains into the right atrium.

At the junction of the great cardiac vein and the coronary sinus, there is typically a valve present. This is the Vieussens valve of the coronary sinus.[1]

It receives tributaries from the left atrium and from both ventricles: one, the left marginal vein, is of considerable size, and ascends along the left margin of the heart.


  1. McAlpine, W. A. (2012). Heart and Coronary Arteries: An Anatomical Atlas for Clinical Diagnosis, Radiological Investigation, and Surgical Treatment. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9783642659836.

This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 642 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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