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).
- Thoracic cage
The structure formed by the thoracic vertebrae and ribs, the sternum (breastbone), and the costal cartilages (that attach the ribs to the sternum). A cage is an enclosure made of “open work” that usually houses animals. The thoracic cage was thought to resemble an animal cage (although the largest “animals” it holds are the heart […]
- Thoracic duct
A vascular structure that recirculates lymph from the lymphatic circulation into the bloodstream. The thoracic duct begins in the abdomen, tracks alongside the aorta and esophagus, and eventually joins with the left brachiocephalic vein.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
A condition that is due to compromise of blood vessels or nerve fibers between the armpit (axilla) and the base of the neck, because of compression by adjacent tissues. Symptoms include pain, arm weakness, and numbness in the hands and fingers. Thoracic outlet syndrome can be caused by muscle development from some types of manual […]
- Thoracic vertebrae
The 12 thoracic vertebrae are situated between the cervical (neck) vertebrae and the lumbar vertebrae. The thoracic vertebrae are represented by the symbols T1 through T12. The thoracic vertebrae provide attachment for the ribs and make up part of the back of the thorax (the chest).
- Thoracolumbosacral orthosis (TLSO)
One of the two main types of braces used to correct the lateral (sideways) curve of the spine in scoliosis. Patients can wear this brace to correct spinal curves whose apex is at or below the eighth thoracic vertebra. The TLSO is an underarm brace, which means that it fits under the arm and around […]