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Anatomy of the coronary arteries in fetal pigs: comparison with human anatomy

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Abstract

In this study, 94 fetal pigs were used to comprehensively investigate the origins, number, location, and distribution of the coronary arteries to enrich knowledge on the coronary circulation in fetal pigs, and allow comparison with adult pigs and humans. In fetal pigs, the posterior interventricular sulcus branch always arose from the right coronary artery and the circumflex artery was rarely extended to the posterior interventricular sulcus, while it is variable in humans. In fetal pigs, there was sometimes anastomosis (8.5%) between the left and right conus branches as nutrient arteries of the pulmonary cone. Other branches were not significantly different between fetal pigs and humans, including the acute marginal branch, obtuse marginal branch, and sinoatrial nodal artery. Coronary dominance was also similar. In conclusion, compared with adult pigs, dissection of the coronary arteries in fetal pigs provided a more faithful overview of the porcine coronary circulation. The coronary arteries in fetal pigs were also more suitable for comparison with humans when pigs are used as experimental animals for studying the coronary vessels, which could be an important reference for investigation of clinical treatment of the coronary arteries. In summary, our data provide reliable information about the distribution and ramifications of the coronary arteries, and could be useful for clinicians and surgeons who wish to comprehensively understand coronary anatomy.

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Abbreviations

AIV:

Anterior interventricular artery

AM:

Acute marginal branch

Ao:

Aorta

AVN:

Atrioventricular nodal artery

Co:

Conus branch

Cx:

Circumflex artery

Di:

Diagonal branch

HL:

High lateral branch

LA:

Left atrial branch

LAA:

Left atrial appendage

LC:

Left coronary artery

LPL:

Left posterolateral branch

lv:

Left ventricle

LV:

Left-ventricular branch

OM:

Obtuse marginal branch

Pu:

Pulmonary artery

PIV:

Posterior interventricular artery

RPL:

Right posterolateral branch

RA:

Right atrial branch

RAA:

Right atrial appendage

RC:

Right coronary artery

RPL:

Right posterolateral branch

RV:

Right-ventricular branch

SAN:

Sinoatrial nodal branch

Se:

Septal branch

SVC:

Superior vena cava

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Correspondence to Shuang-Qin Yi.

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Dai, Y., Yi, K., Shimada, K. et al. Anatomy of the coronary arteries in fetal pigs: comparison with human anatomy. Anat Sci Int 95, 265–276 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12565-019-00516-z

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Keywords

  • Coronary artery
  • Sinoatrial nodal artery
  • Atrioventricular nodal artery
  • Coronary circulation dominance
  • Comparative anatomy
  • Fetal pig