This is the large artery arising from the left ventricle of the heart, in which blood flows from the heart to the body. The most common medical problem of the aorta is atherosclerosis.
The aorta is has three main sections:
- aortic arch
The part of the aorta between the ascending and descending portions which supplies blood flow to the arms, head and neck through the carotid and subclavian arteries.
- ascending aorta
The part of the aorta between the top of the left ventricle of the heart and the aortic arch. The ascending aorta supplies blood to the myocardium (middle layer of the heart wall) through the coronary arteries.
- descending aorta
The part of the aorta after the aortic arch which branches into the thoracic and abdominal aortas.
From the BioTech Dictionary at http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/. For further information see the BioTech homenode.