Posterior interventricular artery

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Artery: Posterior interventricular artery
Base and diaphragmatic surface of heart. (Posterior descending artery not visible, but it runs near the middle cardiac vein, which is labeled at the bottom.)
Cardiac vessels.png
RCA = right coronary
AB = atrial branches
SANB = sinuatrial nodal
RMA = right marginal
LCA = left coronary
CB = circumflex branch
LAD/AIB = anterior interventricular
LMA = left marginal
PIA/PDA = posterior descending
AVN = atrioventricular nodal

SCV = small cardiac
ACV = anterior cardiac
AIV/GCV = great cardiac
MCV = middle cardiac
CS = coronary sinus
Latin ramus interventricularis posterior arteriae coronariae dextrae
Gray's subject #142 547
Supplies ventricles
interventricular septum
Source right coronary artery   
Vein middle cardiac vein
/ Elsevier


The posterior interventricular artery (PIV), or posterior descending artery (PDA), is an artery running in the posterior interventricular sulcus to the apex of the heart where it meets with the anterior interventricular artery. It supplies the posterior one third of the interventricular septum. The remaining anterior two thirds is supplied by the anterior interventricular artery which is a septal branch of the left anterior descending artery, which is a branch of left coronary artery.

It is typically a branch of the right coronary artery (70%, known as right dominance). Alternatively, the PIV can be a branch of the circumflex coronary artery (10%, known as left dominance) which itself is a branch of the left coronary artery. It can also be supplied by an anastomosis of the left and right coronary artery (20%, known as co-dominance).[1] Variants have been reported.[2]


  1. Fuster, V (2001). Hurst's The Heart (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill. p. 53. ISBN 0-07-135694-0. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  2. Topaz O, Holdaway B, Bailey NT, Vetrovec GW (1997). "Anatomic variant of the posterior interventricular coronary artery: implications for coronary angioplasty in acute myocardial infarction". Clin Anat. 10 (5): 303–6. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2353(1997)10:5<303::AID-CA2>3.0.CO;2-R. PMID 9283726.

Additional images

Coronary arteries (labeled in red text) and other major landmarks (in blue text). Posterior descending artery is labeled at left.