Understanding The Aorta and Its Job in Circulation
The aorta is the main artery that carries blood away from your heart to the rest of your body. After the blood leaves the heart through the aortic valve, it travels through the aorta, making a cane-shaped curve that connects with other major arteries to deliver oxygen-rich blood to the brain, muscles, and other cells.
The aorta is more than an inch wide in some places and has three layers:
- The inner layer (or intima)
- The middle layer (or media)
- The outer layer (or adventitia)
When a problem occurs with the aorta, the heart and the entire body’s blood supply can be jeopardized.
When Aortic Problems Occur
An aortic aneurysm is a weakened or bulging area on the wall of the aorta.
- Aortic Aneurysm – which may occur in either the chest (called a thoracic aneurysm) or anywhere along the aorta such as lower in the abdomen (called an abdominal aortic aneurysm)
- Aortic Dissection