* Our Advanced Anatomy content is developed for High School and/or Introductory College Level Students.
The Thoracic Aorta
The Thoracic Aorta (portion of descending aorta) descends through the thorax giving off many arteries.
> pericardial - posterior pericardium
> bronchial - 2 left, 1 right supplying blood to the lungs and bronchial pleurae
> esophageal - esophagus
> mediastinal - posterior mediastinum
> posterior intercostal arteries - 9-10 pairs - anastomose around the front with anterior intercostals
> superior phrenic arteries - posterior diaphragm
The Abdominal Aorta
The Abdominal Aorta pierces the diaphragm and enters abdominal cavity and is now abdominal aorta over the vertebral column. It gives off the following branches:
> inferior phrenic - to supply the inferior diaphragm
> celiac trunk gives off 3 branches:
1. common hepatic artery - gives off a complex group of arteries to the stomach:
• right gastric artery which meets up (anastomoses) with left gastric artery to supply the lesser curvature of the stomach.
• right gastroepiploic artery that meets up (anastomoses) with left gastroepiploic artery (branch of splenic artery) to supply the greater curvature of the stomach.
2. splenic artery (to spleen)
3. left gastric artery (to stomach)
> superior mesenteric - to supply the midgut (duodenum to mid-transverse colon)
> suprarenals - to supply the adrenal gland
> renals - to supply the kidneys
> gonadals - to supply the testes and ovaries
> inferior mesenteric - to supply the hindgut (mid-transverse colon to rectum)
> lumbar arteries - several pairs off the posterior side of the descending aorta
> median sacral artery - off the posterior side of the descending aorta
> common iliac arteries - where descending aorta splits at L4 to supply blood to the lower limbs,
pelvic organs and lower abdominal wall.
Test your knowledge of the blood vessels of the abdominal aorta with the following labeling page (included in the PDF below):