Graduation Date

Spring 5-6-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Genetics, Cell Biology & Anatomy

First Advisor

Keely Cassidy, PhD.

Second Advisor

Karen Gould, PhD.


Coronary artery diseases, such as angina or myocardial infarction, are extremely prevalent and impact millions of people worldwide. Underlying the diseases, and how they affect each individual in a distinct manner, is the individual’s coronary artery anatomy. The aim of the present study is to have an intimate knowledge of the normal and variant anatomy of the coronary arteries. As an attempt to gain such knowledge, complete analysis of the anatomical variations of coronary arteries was performed. Classical cadaveric dissection of sixty human hearts was performed in the gross anatomy laboratory at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). Precise dissection allowed for complete mapping of the coronary arteries and their main branches, from origin to termination. Data regarding the origin of the coronary arteries and their main branches was collected and compared to primary literature and current medical textbooks. An emphasis was placed on analyzing the origin of the sinoatrial nodal artery (SANA) and atrioventricular nodal artery (AVNA) as well as the coronary artery dominance. Analysis of the data collected in this study highlights the disconnect between the information found in primary literature and that which is found in current medical textbooks. Said disconnect can impact a student’s comprehensive knowledge of the coronary arteries.