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 thoracic aorta gives off numerous branches that supply oxygenated blood to the chest cage and the organs within the chest.
Like the other sections of the aorta (the ascending aorta, aortic arch and abdominal aorta), the thoracic aorta is an arbitrary anatomic entity. The aorta is one continuous conduit that stems from the left ventricle of the heart to carry blood to most of the body. The thoracic aorta is nonetheless a hallowed and convenient subdivision of the aorta.
The thoracic aorta is known in medical Latin variously as the aorta thoracica, the aorta thoracalis, and the pars thoracalis aortae (under which it is often concealed in print medical dictionaries).
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.
Aortic: Pertaining to the aorta, the largest artery in the body. “Aortic” is in common usage as, for example, in an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The term “aortal” has the same meaning but is rarely encountered (except in The New York Times crossword).
- Aortic aneurysm
Aortic aneurysm: An outpouching (a local widening) of the largest artery in the body, the aorta, involving that vessel in its course above the diaphragm (thoracic aortic aneurysm) or, more commonly, below the diaphragm (abdominal aortic aneurysm). The diagnosis of an aortic aneurysm can be straight forward or difficult. Around 1900 the eminent physician William […]
- Aortic arch
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 […]
- Aortic arch syndrome
Aortic arch syndrome: 1. Any disorder that causes occlusion of the arteries that arise from the aortic arch. 2. Synonym for Takayasu disease. 3. The subclavian steal syndrome.