Diseases

Aorta

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The aorta or the main artery is the central vessel in the bloodstream. The heart pumps blood from the left ventricle directly into this thickest of all vessels. Five liters per minute flows through it in peace in an adult. Read all important information about the aorta here!

Article overview aorta

  • The central vessel
  • Section of the aorta
  • Structure of the aorta
  • The tasks of the aorta
  • Diseases of the main artery

The central vessel

The aorta in adults is about 35 to 40 centimeters long and with a diameter of about three centimeters the thickest vessel in the body. It goes directly from the left ventricle and directs the blood from the heart into the systemic circulation (large blood circulation) - calmly flow about five liters of blood per minute through the main artery, under effort up to 30 liters. Between the left ventricle and the aorta sits the aortic valve, one of the four heart valves, which prevents a return flow of the blood.

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Section of the aorta

The main artery can be roughly divided into the following sections:

The first section, which goes from the left ventricle, is ascending and is called the ascending aorta. It lies within the pericardium and has two branches - the two coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle.

With the passage through the pericardium, the second section of the main artery begins: It makes an arc (aortic arch, aortic artery) up and obliquely to the left rear. From the aortic arch three main branches go off, which supply with their further branches head, neck and arms.

The aortic arch is followed by the descending portion of the main artery, the descending aorta. It runs first in the chest (then called chest aorta) and then - after passing through the diaphragm - in the abdominal cavity (then called abdominal aorta). The branches of the thoracic aorta supply the lungs, chest wall and adjacent breast tissues. The branches of the abdominal aorta supply the abdominal organs.

At the lower end, the aorta divides into the two large iliac arteries, which supply the pelvis and legs with their branches.

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