Widespread anastomoses of the auricular branches and the coronary branches to the pericardial fat with the pericardiacophrenic branches of the internal mammary arteries and the anterior mediastinal, pericardial, bronchial, superior and inferior phrenic, intercostal and esophageal branches of the aorta have been described. The most extensive anastomoses between the cardiac and extracardiac vessels are around the ostia of the pulmonary veins. It was possible not only to demonstrate the passage of injection mass from the coronary arteries into the vessels of surrounding structures, but also to show vessels in the heart injected through the thoracic branches of the aorta.

This rich potential extracardiac coronary collateral circulation is probably of significance in compensating for sclerosis of the large trunks of the coronary arteries.

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