The heart muscle, like every other organ or tissue in your body, needs oxygen-rich blood to survive. Blood is supplied to the heart by its own vascular system, called coronary circulation.
The aorta (the main blood supplier to the body) branches off into two main coronary blood vessels (also called arteries). These coronary arteries branch off into smaller arteries, which supply oxygen-rich blood to the entire heart muscle.
The right coronary artery supplies blood mainly to the right side of the heart. The right side of the heart is smaller because it pumps blood only to the lungs.
The left coronary artery, which branches into the left anterior descending artery and the circumflex artery, supplies blood to the left side of the heart. The left side of the heart is larger and more muscular because it pumps blood to the rest of the body.
Updated August 2012