What Is Coronary Sinus? – Structure, Functions, and Anomalies! Hey, did you lately come across the term coronary sinus and wonder what it can be?
Well, A blood vessel thy be! A vein, to be precise! The largest one, located in the human heart!
This biological term has roots in the old and historic Latin word, ‘Corona’, meaning crown. Perhaps the name justifies its position in our venous cardiac system. It is, indeed, the major venous tributary that collects more than half of the deoxygenated blood from our heart muscles and drains it into our heart’s right atrium.
The Origin Story of Coronary Sinus – Anatomical!
The first question that often comes up concerning something like coronary sinus is certainly how the structure came up! Medical science notes that several smaller veins in the body of homo sapiens, including –
- The great cardiac vein,
- The middle cardiac vein,
- The small cardiac vein,
- The oblique vein in your left atrium, and
- The posterior vein in your left ventricle,
Merged together, forming the union called a coronary sinus!
Where Is Coronary Sinus Located in Your Heart?
The posterior part of your heart is where the coronary sinus resides, in the atrioventricular or AV septum, right near the atrioventricular or AV node. The opening of this sinus rests in the right atrium; that too, within the right atrioventricular (AV) valve, also called the tricuspid valve!
What Is The Course of Coronary Sinus?
While the course is concerned, some medical experts talk about the meeting point of the great cardiac vein and oblique vein as the starting point of the coronary sinus, and some emphasize the Vieussens valve!
Thereafter, the large blood vessel with muscular walls, the coronary sinus, continues transversely between the left atrium and left ventricle, then; along the atrioventricular groove, and finally into the right atrium! But, before entering the right atrium, the sinus stands much dilated, typically the size of a little finger’s end!
What Is The Primary Function of Coronary Sinus?
The primary function of your coronary sinus is to return a bulk of your heart’s deoxygenated blood, also regarded as cardiac venous blood, from most of the heart walls and muscles to the right atrium so that your lungs can reoxygenate it. Research studies reveal that a coronary sinus lay responsible for draining about 55% of the cardiac venous blood to the right atrium.
What Are The Secondary Functions of Coronary Sinus?
Alongside the primary task of returning cardiac venous blood, the coronary sinus in your body also plays a crucial role in ensuring proper blood circulation within the heart and subsequently throughout your body. It can help your heart muscles fetch a continuous oxygenated blood supply and therefore function properly.
Can Coronary Sinus Have Structural Anomalies?
Yes. Your coronary sinus can have structural anomalies! While most of the structural variations that exist in the coronary sinus, be it the size, shape, forms, or the number of smaller veins that this larger one connects to, some variations may trigger further health complications or anomalies.
What Type of Anatomical Anomalies Show up in The Coronary Sinus?
Some anatomical (structural) defects that may arise in your coronary sinus are as follows.
Persistent Left Superior Vena Cava or PLSVC
While the superior vena cava (or, what we call, the large vein) drains deoxygenated blood directly into the right atrium, sometimes, it may tend to drain the same into your coronary sinus.
Such an abnormality arises when this vein resides on the left side of your heart and not right where it is supposed to! That is what medical science refers to as PLSVC! And it typically affects around 0.2 to 3 percent of the common mass. And Alas! It mostly does not leave symptoms and may culminate into diseases like arrhythmias or cyanosis.
Coronary Artery Fistulas or CAFs
The abnormal connection between your left or right coronary arteries or its branches and the coronary sinus is what medical science calls coronary artery fistulas.
Such a condition makes the blood flow from your coronary arteries straightaway to your heart without following the track via myocardial capillaries. CAFs are asymptomatic, and your doctor may detect them during your routine heart imaging. The fistulas can get worse, with problematic symptoms showing up. They even pertain to the risk of heart attack or failure.
Unroofed Coronary Sinus Syndrome
Although rare in type, unroofed syndrome, an atrial septal defect, can take the stage when a part or whole of the roof protecting your coronary sinus goes missing.
This particular congenital or birth problem results in a bigger problem between your left atrium and the coronary sinus. A communication channel opens up; due to the absence of a wall in between, and increases the risk of blood clots, hypoxia, and even heart failure. Perhaps, that’s why an early diagnosis and treatment stand necessary in this regard!
Is There A Clinical Significance of Coronary Sinus?
True that; your coronary sinus holds a clinical significance in the treatment of heart diseases, whether a cardiac resynchronization therapy to regulate your uneven heartbeat, electrophysiological studies to measure your heart rate and diagnose conditions like arrhythmias, or a surgical procedure to treat coronary artery disease.
No wonder the coronary sinus living in the heart’s domain is a salient conduit, keeping our ticker in heart rhythm resolute! It’s no less than a circulatory guide that gives deoxygenated blood a long ride!
However, you may not also keep their anatomical variations aside. If you have chest pain, shortness of breath, and low blood pressure, it’s a red flag from the inside!
That’s when you need to consult your doctor and derive a suitable diagnosis and treatment for the problematic health factor!
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