The pulmonary arteries carry blood from the heart to the lungs. They are the only arteries (other than umbilical arteries in the fetus) that carry deoxygenated blood.
In the human heart, the pulmonary trunk (pulmonary artery or main pulmonary artery) begins at the base of the right ventricle. It is short and wide - approximately 5 cm (2 inches) in length and 3 cm (1.2 inches) in diameter. It then branches into two pulmonary arteries (left and right), which deliver deoxygenated blood to the corresponding lung. The coronary circulation consists of the blood vessels that supply blood to, and remove blood from, the heart muscle itself. Although blood fills the chambers of the heart, the muscle tissue of the heart, or myocardium, is so thick that it requires coronary blood vessels to deliver blood deep into the myocardium. The vessels that supply blood high in oxygen to the myocardium are known as coronary arteries. The vessels that remove the deoxygenated blood from the heart muscle are known as cardiac veins.
The coronary arteries that run on the surface of the heart are called epicardial coronary arteries.
Role in disease
Pulmonary hypertension occurs alone and as a consequence of a number of lung diseases. It can be a consequence of heart disease (Eisenmenger's syndrome) but equally a cause (right-ventricular heart failure); it also occurs as a consequence of pulmonary embolism and scleroderma.
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