The aorta is the main artery of the human body and distributes the oxygenated blood through all the organs through its branches. The aorta originates at the exit of the left ventricle, ascends through the anterior part of the thorax (ascending aorta). It forms an arch where the branches of the arms and the head (aortic arch) originate, and finally it descends through the posterior part of the thorax towards the diaphragm and abdomen (descending aorta). Already in the abdomen is called abdominal aorta where it nourishes all the abdominal viscera, and ends in the branches that carry blood to the lower extremities. The most frequent diseases of the aorta are aneurysms and aortic dissection.
Aneurysms are dilatations of the aortic wall that can occur in any segment of the same. They are usually asymptomatic, although they can produce pain if they present complications. Thus, many aneurysms of the aorta are detected during general evaluations performed for other reasons. Aortic aneurysms are indicated surgically if the vessel dilates to a certain diameter, or if the rate of dilation is rapid. If this does not occur, patients are evaluated periodically to detect possible growth early.
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