Aortic arch: The second section of the aorta following the ascending aorta. As it continues from the heart, it gives off the brachiocephalic trunk, and the left common carotid and subclavian arteries. The brachiocephalic trunk splits to form the right subclavian and the right common carotid arteries, which supply blood to the right arm and the right side of the neck and head. The left common carotid artery and left subclavian artery, the second and third branches off the aortic arch, perform parallel functions on the left side.
- Aorta, coarctation of the
Aorta, coarctation of the: A constriction of the aorta. At the point of coarctation, the sides of the aorta appear to be pressed together. Blood pressure is increased above the constriction, and the flow of blood is impeded below the level of the constriction. Symptoms may not be evident at birth but can develop as […]
- Aorta, ascending
Aorta, ascending: The ascending aorta is the first section of the aorta, the largest artery in the body. The ascending aorta starts from the left ventricle of the heart and extends to the arch (the bend) of the aorta. The right and left coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle arise from the […]
- Aorta, descending
Aorta, descending: The descending aorta is the part of the aorta, the largest artery in the body, that runs down through the chest and the abdomen. The descending aorta starts after the arch of the aorta and ends by splitting into two great arteries (the common iliac arteries) that go to the legs. The descending […]
- Aorta, thoracic
Aorta, thoracic: The thoracic aorta is a section of the aorta, the largest artery in the body, within the chest. Specifically, the thoracic aorta is that part of the aorta that starts after the arch of the aorta and runs down to the diaphragm, the great muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. The […]
Aortal: Pertaining to the aorta, the largest artery in the body. Aortal is not often encountered (except in The New York Times crossword). The preferred term is aortic.