What is Aorta?

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What is Aorta?

Aorta is the main artery in the human body that originates from the left ventricle of the heart going down through the chest and abdomen. It extends toward the neck then arches down to the waist where it allows blood to flow through the chest. Through the aortic hiatus, it enters the abdomen where it supplies the stomach, intestines, kidneys, gonads and other organs. Then it is divided into two arteries called the iliac arteries that deliver blood to the legs.

The aorta has five divisions which are:
Ascending aorta ‘“ located amid the arc of aorta and the heart
Arch of aorta ‘“ located on the top most branch that gives the impression of a reversed ‘U’
Descending aorta ‘“ initiating from the hollow of the aorta, going down and is divided into
Thoracic aorta ‘“ half of the descending aorta that is above the diaphragm
Abdominal aorta ‘“ half of the descending aorta that is below the diaphragm

In the abdomen, the aorta is divided into the single celiac, superior mesenteric and inferior mesenteric, and the paired renal and internal spermatic or ovarian arteries. Other branches are distributed through other organs and the body wall.

Blood pressure is highest at the aorta and decreases as it travels and divides into arteries, arterioles, and capillaries making the flow slow and smooth for nutrient and gas exchange.

Because the aorta is a flexible artery, it beats accordingly with the heart. It made up of an assorted mixture of nerves, endothelial cells, complex extracellular matrix, fibroblast-like cells, intimal cells and smooth muscles. Its vascular walls, which are mainly composed of smooth muscle and the extracellular matrix, are divided into layers called tunica intima, tunica media and tunica adventitia.

Once this wall weakens, aortic aneurysm might be felt .The aorta swells and causes discomfort to the person who experiences this illness. Worst is, it might lead to rupture; which causes extreme pain and internal bleeding, and if not cured, might cause death.

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