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March 27, 1978

Circulation Today: The Coronary Arteries

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Alabama Medical Center, Birmingham, Ala.

JAMA. 1978;239(13):1302-1307. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280400042018

AT A time when it was thought that air and vapors oozed through pores in the septum of the heart, it may be asking too much of the man who corrected that error to also know about the coronary circulation. The facts are that William Harvey, in De Motu Cordis, expressed no interest in or awareness of the purpose of the coronary arteries. If he were alive today, however, we can be confident that he would find this a major interest of his own and could perhaps set aright a few of our cherished misconceptions on the subject. Lest his identity itself be the source of a misconception, it must be emphasized that Harvey was fundamentally an anatomist and always thought of himself as that, although today's physiologists often proclaim him as one of their own patron saints as well.

In a contemporary view of the coronary circulation, one could