What does Aorta Mean?

It is known as the aorta to the main artery of the human body, begins in the left ventricle of the heart, and ends at the level of the fourth lumbar vertebra, where the primitive iliac arteries are divided into two branches.

The aorta, a conduit with thick elastic walls, is the largest artery in the body. It arises from the left ventricle of the heart, describes an arch upwards, backwards and to the left (aortic drop), and then descends behind the thorax, and crosses the diaphragm to reach the abdomen.

Based on the above, several parts of the aorta are distinguished:

  • Ascending aorta, is the first portion of the aorta that comprises from the heart, and the beginning of the arch of the aorta, where the left and right coronary arteries originate.
  • Descending aorta, born in the aortic arch to the place where the primitive iliac arteries divide. It is noteworthy that the primitive iliacs contribute especially to the irrigation of the lower abdomen and lower limbs.
  • Thoracic aorta, a series of arteries that supply the heart, head, neck, and arms arise.
  • Abdominal aorta, other arteries that supply the abdominal organs, pelvis and legs come out.

As such, the function of the heart is to pump blood throughout the body. The blood of the left ventricle distributes oxygen and nutrients to the whole organism except to the lungs, through systematic circulation.

The aorta is a flexible and extensible artery, when the left ventricle of the heart contracts in the systole, injecting blood into the aorta, it expands. This process grants energy to maintain blood pressure at the time the aorta shortens, that is, in diastole.

Aortic aneurysm

The aneurysm is characterized by abnormal dilation or widening of a portion of the aorta, by a weakness of the blood vessel wall.

An aneurysm can be caused by various causes such as:

  • Hardening of the arteries.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Arterial hypertension.
  • Inflammation of the aorta.
  • Injury from falls or accidents.
  • Connective tissue disorder such as Marfan syndrome.

Generally, people have no symptoms until the aneurysm begins to expand or leak, presenting the individual with hoarseness, vomiting or nausea, swelling in the neck, wet skin, problems swallowing, rapid heart rate, among others.

As for the treatment, it is advisable to perform surgery to replace the aorta with a piece of fabric or plastic graft.

Calcified and elongated aorta

Calcification of the aorta, consists of the calcium deposit that can cause the opening of the aortic valve to narrow, and reduces blood flow to the heart causing chest pain and heart attack. The above can occur in the abdominal aorta.

For its part, the elongated aorta is characterized by being longer than normal. This disorder is due to the loss of elasticity of the aortic artery due to the loss of collagen, it is not a serious pathological process, nor is it considered a disease.

Bivalve aorta

The bivalve aorta is seen as a frequent congenital heart disease characterized by two uneven leaflets, due to the congenital fusion of the right coronary and left coronary cusp, fusion between the right and the non-coronary, or due to the fusion occurs between the cusp not coronary and left.