Left coronary artery

The left coronary artery (abbreviated LCA) is an artery that arises from the aorta above the left cusp of the aortic valve and feeds blood to the left side of the heart. It is also known as the left main coronary artery (abbreviated LMCA) and the left main stem coronary artery (abbreviated LMS). It is one of the coronary arteries.

Left coronary artery
Heart viewed from above, atria removed, base of ventricles exposed. Left coronary artery visible at left.
Heart viewed from the front. Coronary arteries (labeled in red text) and other major landmarks (in blue text). Left coronary artery is at upper right in the image.
Sourceascending aorta
Branchesanterior interventricular
(ramus intermedius)
Latinarteria coronaria sinistra
Anatomical terminology


It typically runs for 10 to 25 mm and then bifurcates into the anterior interventricular artery (also called the left anterior descending (LAD) and the Widow maker) and the left circumflex artery (LCx). Sometimes an additional artery arises at the bifurcation of the left main artery, forming a trifurcation; this extra artery is called the ramus or intermediate artery.[1]

The part that is between the aorta and the bifurcation only is known as the left main artery (LM), while the term "LCA" might refer to just the left main, or to the left main and all its eventual branches.

A "first septal branch" is sometimes described.[2]

Additional images

See also

  • Coronary circulation
  • Pete Maravich, American basketball player whose congenital lack of a left coronary artery contributed to his sudden death of heart failure at age 40


  1. Fuster, V; Alexander RW; O'Rourke RA (2001). Hurst's The Heart (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill. p. 53. ISBN 0-07-135694-0.
  2. Verna E, Santarone M, Boscarini M, Ghezzi I, Repetto S (June 1988). "Unusual origin and course of the first septal branch of the left coronary artery: angiographic recognition". Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 11 (3): 146–9. doi:10.1007/BF02577106. PMID 3139296.


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