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(āôr`tə), primary artery of the circulatory systemcirculatory system,
group of organs that transport blood and the substances it carries to and from all parts of the body. The circulatory system can be considered as composed of two parts: the systemic circulation, which serves the body as a whole except for the lungs, and the
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 in mammals, delivering oxygenated blood to all other arteries except those of the lungs. The human aorta, c.1 in. (2.54 cm) in diameter, originates at the left ventricle of the heartheart,
muscular organ that pumps blood to all parts of the body. The rhythmic beating of the heart is a ceaseless activity, lasting from before birth to the end of life. Anatomy and Function

The human heart is a pear-shaped structure about the size of a fist.
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. After supplying the coronary arteries that nourish the heart itself, the aorta extends slightly toward the neck to feed branches serving the head and arms. It then arches down toward the waist, directing blood into the arterial system of the chest. Entering the abdomen through the aortic hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm, the aorta branches off to supply the stomach, kidneys, intestines, gonads, and other organs through extensive arterial networks. It finally divides into the two iliac arteries carrying blood to the legs. The elasticity of the aorta wall permits it to pulse in rhythm with the heartbeat, thus helping to propel blood through the body.



the main artery of the greater circulatory system, which supplies blood to all organs of the body.

The wall of the aorta consists of three membranes, that is, the interior (a layer of endothelial cells), intermediate (numerous rows of elastic fibers), and exterior (bundles of connective tissue fibers). Because of the elasticity of the aorta’s walls an uninterrupted flow of blood in the arteries is assured. In man, mammals, and birds, the aorta emerges from the left ventricle of the heart, forming an enlargement at its very beginning, called the aortic spindle, goes up (ascending aorta), turns back and to the left in man and mammals (arch of the aorta) and back and to the right in birds, and goes down (descending or dorsal aorta). In reptiles there are two aortic arches, that is, the right, or arterial, arch, emerging from the left ventricle of the heart; and the left, or venous, arch from the right ventricle. When they unite, they form a common aorta with mixed blood. In amphibians an arterial cone emerges from the only ventricle, and from it one pair (in ecaudates) or two pairs (in caudates) of aortic arches branch out, which form the dorsal aorta when they unite. In fishes and cyclostomes the ventricle passes into the abdominal aorta, which carries venous blood through the system of arterial arches into the gills (in fishes) and gill pouches (in cyclostomes). The blood which is oxygenated there is collected in the dorsal aorta. Of the invertebrates, mollusks and arthropods have aortas.


Ostroverkhov, G. E., D. N. Lubotskii, and Iu. M. Bomash. Kurs operativnoi khirurgii i topograficheskoi anatomii,2nd ed. Moscow, 1964.
Cole, W. H. Textbook of Surgery,8th ed. New York, 1963.


The main vessel of systemic arterial circulation arising from the heart in vertebrates.
(invertebrate zoology)
The large dorsal or anterior vessel in many invertebrates.


the main vessel in the arterial network, which conveys oxygen-rich blood from the heart to all parts of the body except the lungs
References in periodicals archive ?
Although the results of manual segmentation are the most accurate, automatic aorta segmentation still has practical advantages over the manual segmentation approach.
Previously, use of the automatic aorta segmentation method on a thoracic CT scan image was proposed by Kurugol et al.
This allows optimal graft sizing that can lead to better procedural outcomes for patients with dissected aortas.
Mid aortic syndrome or Middle aortic syndrome (MAS) is a rare entity affecting abdominal aorta in children and young adults.
The most serious symptom involves the aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from the heart, becoming dilated.
An aldehyde component in Chinese medicine, Cinnamomi cortex, was reported to cause vasodilatation in the aorta isolated from spontaneously hypertensive rat (Kasahara et al.
They measured the stiffness of the aorta in more than 200 German men and women, half of whom took 300 mg or more of standardized garlic powder in tablet form every day for two years.
The AneuRx AAA Stent Graft System, approved for use in the United States in 1999, is used in the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), a bulge or ballooning that forms in the wall of the aorta that can be fatal if left untreated.
Hearts with a single aorta tend to be more efficient at delivering oxygen to the body, says Michael K.
Following the success of the aorta transplants, Badylak's group tested SIS in dogs as a replacement for the vena cava, the largest vein in most animals' bodies.
He and his colleagues have also developed a simple saliva test that offers hope for identifying others who carry aneurysm-associated genetic defects, perhaps in time to prevent a catastrophic blowout of the aorta wall.