Medical Definition of Thoracic aorta

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

Thoracic aorta: 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).

CONTINUE SCROLLING OR CLICK HERE FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW

SLIDESHOW

Heart Disease: Causes of a Heart Attack See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 12/27/2018