The aorta (pronounced IPA|/e(ɪ)ˈo(ʊ)ɹ.tə/) is the largest artery in the human body, originating from the left ventricle of the heart and bringing oxygenated blood to all parts of the body in the systemic circulation. [cite book
last = Maton
first = Anthea
authorlink = Jean Hopkins, Charles William McLaughlin, Susan Johnson, Maryanna Quon Warner, David LaHart, Jill D. Wright
coauthors =
title = Human Biology anokjkjjkjjlkuhuuonjld Health
publisher = Prentice Hall
date = 1993
location = Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
pages =
url =
doi =
id =
isbn = 0-13-981176-1

The course of the aorta

The aorta is usually divided into seven segments/sections [Tortora, Gerard J: "Principles of Human W. & Karen A. Koos: "Human Anatomy, second edition", page 479. Wm. C. Brown Publishing, 1994 (ISBN 0-697-12252-2)] [De Graaff, Van: "Human Anatomy, fifth edition", pages 548-549. WCB McGraw-Hill, 1998 (ISBN 0-697-28413-1)] :
* Ascending aorta—the section between the heart and the arch of aorta
* Arch of aorta—the peak part that looks somewhat like an inverted "U"
* Descending aorta—the section from the arch of aorta to the point where it divides into the common iliac arteries
** Thoracic aorta—the half of the descending aorta above the diaphragm
** Abdominal aorta—the half of the descending aorta below the diaphragm


The aorta is an elastic artery, and as such is quite distensible. When the left ventricle contracts to force blood into the aorta, the aorta expands. This stretching gives the potential energy that will help maintain blood pressure during diastole, as during this time the aorta contracts passively.


* Aneurysm of sinus of Valsalva
* Aortic aneurysm - myotic, bacterial (e.g. syphilis), senile, genetic, associated with valvular heart disease
** Dissecting aortic aneurysm
* Aortic coarctation - pre-ductal, post-ductal
* Atherosclerosis
* Marfan syndrome
* Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
* Aortic stenosis
* Trauma, such as traumatic aortic rupture, most often thoracic and distal to the left subclavian artery [Samett EJ. [ Aorta, Trauma] . Accessed on: April 24, 2007.] and frequently quickly fatal [cite journal | author = Tambyraja, A| title = Aortic Trauma in Scotland - A Population Based Study | journal = European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery | volume = 32| issue = 6| pages = 686–689| year = 2006 | pmid = 16750920| doi = 10.1016/j.ejvs.2006.04.006]


External links

* - Descending aorta
* - Abdominal aorta

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