A morphometric anatomical study of the right coronary artery in Vietnamese

Vu Hoang Nguyen, Ernest F. Talarico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a major cause of death and disability in developed countries, and incidence of CAD is increasing annually in the underdeveloped world. Today, percutaneous coronary intervention plays a major role both in diagnosis and treatment of CAD. As a result, an understanding of the anatomy of the coronary artery system is vital cardiologists. Yet, studies are lacking that focus on Vietnamese hearts. The objective of this study was to examine the morphometric anatomical variation of the right coronary artery (RCA) in Vietnamese cadavers. The hearts from 125 cadavers were used in the study. In all hearts, the RCA originated from the right aortic sinus, had a right marginal branch, and gave rise to one to three right posterior ventricular (RPV) branches. In 96.8% of hearts, the posterior interventricular branch (PIV) originated from the RCA; in 3.2% from the left circumflex artery (LCX), and the mean diameter was 2.09 mm ± 0.62 mm. The RCA had a mean diameter and length of 4.21 mm ± 0.64 mm and 122.5 mm ± 17.8 mm, respectively, and terminated between the crux and left border (72%) and at the crux (14.4%). The origin of the sinoatrial node artery was 81.6% from the RCA, 16.8% from the LCX, and 1.6% from both the RCA and LCX. There were one to four right atrial branches observed across the hearts studied; a maximum of 32% (one branch) and a minimum of 12.8% (four branches). In 68.8% of hearts the conus artery originated from the RCA. In 8.8%, it arose from the right aortic sinus at the same site as the RCA, but in 22.4% away from this site of origin. The RCA gave rise to one to eight right anterior ventricular (RAV) branches (i.e., because they are at the anterior surface of the right ventricular); with the highest incidence of 3 branches in 37.6% of hearts. The RCA gave rise to one to seven left posterior ventricular branches; the majority of cases, 28.8% gave rise to 4 branches. The rare incidence of myocardial bridging in the right coronary system occurred in 7.2% of hearts, and each case involved the posterior interventricular branch. Anatomical variations of the RCA system can cause difficulties in imaging interpretation and interventional procedures. This study is the first to document these variations of the RCA system in Vietnamese hearts, contributing knowledge that is essential for physicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-353
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Anatomy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Anterior Interventricular artery
  • Circumflex artery
  • Conus artery
  • Crux
  • Intermediate branch
  • Right Coronary artery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy

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