Anatomy and Embryology

, Volume 180, Issue 5, pp 437–441 | Cite as

Development of the origin of the coronary arteries, a matter of ingrowth or outgrowth?

  • A. J. J. C. Bogers
  • A. C. Gittenberger-de Groot
  • R. E. Poelmann
  • B. M. Péault
  • H. A. Huysmans


Inconsistencies still exist with regard to the exact mode of development of proximal coronary arteries and coronary orifices. In this regard 15 quail embryos were investigated using a monoclonal anti-endothelium antibody, enabling a detailed study of the development of endothelium-lined vasculature. Coronary orifices emerged at 7–9 days of incubation (Zacchei stages 24–26) and were invariably present at 10 days of incubation (Zacchei stage 27).

We never observed more than 2 coronary orifices; these were always single in either of the facing sinuses of the aorta. A coronary orifice was always observed being connected to an already developed proximal coronary artery, which belonged to a peritruncal ring of coronary arterial vasculature. We did not find any coronary orifice without a connection to a proximal coronary artery. Moreover, at 7–9 days of incubation (Zacchei stages 24–26) we observed coronary arteries from the peritruncal ring penetrating the aortic media. In 2 specimen this coronary artery, with a lumen, was in contact with the still intact endothelial lining of the aorta.

We conclude that coronary arteries do not grow out of the aorta, but grow into the aorta from the peritruncal ring of coronary arterial vasculature. This throws new light on normal and abnormal development of proximal coronary arteries and coronary orifices.

Key words

Coronary artery development Coronary orifice development Peritruncal ring 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. J. C. Bogers
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. C. Gittenberger-de Groot
    • 2
  • R. E. Poelmann
    • 2
  • B. M. Péault
    • 3
  • H. A. Huysmans
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Thoracic Surgery, ThoraxcenterUniversity Hospital DijkzigtRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy and EmbryologyState UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Institut d'Embryologie du CNRS et du College de FranceNogent-sur-MarneFrance
  4. 4.Department of Thoracic SurgeryUniversity HospitalLeidenThe Netherlands

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