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aorta (āôrˈtə), primary artery of the circulatory system 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 heart. 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.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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 Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The main vessel of systemic arterial circulation arising from the heart in vertebrates.
(invertebrate zoology)
The large dorsal or anterior vessel in many invertebrates.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


the main vessel in the arterial network, which conveys oxygen-rich blood from the heart to all parts of the body except the lungs
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
During the preprocedure workup, he was found to have a very tortuous iliofemoral system, as well as a significant S-type bend in the descending aorta (Figures 1(a)-1(c), Video 1 (see supplementary Video 1 in the Supplementary Materials available online at
The thoracic aortas were removed, cleaned of fat and connective tissue, and cut into ring segments (4-5 mm in length).
The IABP catheter may be inserted through a synthetic graft anastomosed to the ascending aorta [5, 8, 9, 15] or directly transaortic insertion without grafting [7,16,17] in patients with severe aortoiliac occlusive disease that precluded a safe transfemoral approach.
Mid aortic syndrome or Middle aortic syndrome (MAS) is a rare entity affecting abdominal aorta in children and young adults.
Lots of methods are created or modified in order to help to prove the existence of intact thrombus signal in the aorta. But until now, with a disorder that occurs in the aorta, it is difficult to detect or properly evaluate the existence of thrombus signal.
Golesworthy's bespoke device is for people like him who suffer from a dilated aorta. The device, the External Aortic Root Support (Ears), is quite simply a piece of polyester that wraps around the aorta and holds it in place to prevent dilation.
Keywords: Perillaldehyde; Rat thoracic aorta; Vasodilator effect; Voltage-dependent [Ca.sup.2+] channel; [Ca.sup.2+] channel blockade; Perilla frutescens BRITTON
Identification of acrolein--dG DNA adducts in cockerel aortas. A typical HPLC chromatogram showing co-migration of the exocyclic acrolein--dG adduct peak (UV and radioactivity) from the synthetic standards and from cockerel aorta DNA is shown in Figure 2.
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.
Croft of the University of Western Australia in Perth monitored the concentrations of three markers of oxidized fat in blood and tissue of the aorta, the large artery leaving the heart.
Hearts with a single aorta tend to be more efficient at delivering oxygen to the body, says Michael K.