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Chapter 60 – Diseases of the Aorta

Alan C. Braverman,
Robert W. Thompson,
Luis A. Sanchez

  THE NORMAL AORTA, 1309
  Anatomy and Physiology, 1309
  Evaluation of the Aorta, 1310

  AORTIC ANEURYSMS, 1310
  Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms, 1310
  Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms, 1313

  AORTIC DISSECTION, 1319
  AORTIC DISSECTION VARIANTS, 1332
  Aortic Intramural Hematoma, 1332
  Penetrating Atherosclerotic Aortic Ulcer, 1333
  Bacterial Infections of the Aorta, 1334
  Primary Tumors of the Aorta, 1335

  FUTURE PERSPECTIVES, 1335
  REFERENCES, 1336
The Normal Aorta

Anatomy and Physiology

The aorta, the body's largest artery, extends from the aortic valve in the chest to the midabdomen, where it bifurcates into the common iliac arteries. Along its course the aorta is divided anatomically into thoracic and abdominal components. The thoracic aorta is further subdivided into the ascending, arch, and descending segments and the abdominal aorta into the suprarenal and infrarenal segments.

The ascending thoracic aorta has two distinct portions. The lower …