How Many Arteries Are in a Human Heart?

By Juan Ramirez

A typical human heart is a bit larger than your fist and weighs anywhere from a half-pound to a full pound. The arteries of the human heart, in conjunction with the capillaries of the heart, are vital in the daily pumping of approximately 2,000 gallons of blood.

The Arteries of the Human Heart

There are two main coronary arteries--the right coronary artery and the left coronary artery. The right coronary artery splits off into two more arteries, known as the right marginal artery and the posterior descending artery. The left coronary artery splits into two additional arteries as well--the circumflex artery and the left anterior descending artery. This makes six total arteries in the human heart.

Structure of a Heart Artery

The arteries of the heart are tri-layered. The Franklin Institute describes the outer layer of a heart artery as being composed of tough tissue, the second layer as being composed of muscle and the third or inner layer being composed of epithelial cells. The strength of the muscular layer in the middle helps the pumping of blood, while the smoother inner layer promotes easy, unobstructed blood flow.

How Each Artery Serves the Heart

Each artery supplies blood flow to different sides of the heart. The right and left coronary arteries supply blood to the right and left sides of the heart, respectively. The right side of the heart send blood to the lungs, while the left side of the heart sends blood to out to the rest of the body.

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