- Aortic arch
Name = PAGENAME
Latin = arcus aortae
GraySubject = 142
GrayPage = 547
Caption = Plan of the branches.
Caption2 = The arch of the aorta, and its branches.
brachiocephalic artery, left common carotid artery, left subclavian artery
fourth aortic arch| MeshName = Aortic+Arch
MeshNumber = A07.231.114.056.372
DorlandsPre = a_58
DorlandsSuf = 12150514
:"For the embryological structure, see
The arch of the aorta (Transverse Aorta) begins at the level of the upper border of the second sternocostal articulation of the right side, and runs at first upward, backward, and to the left in front of the trachea; it is then directed backward on the left side of the trachea and finally passes downward on the left side of the body of the fourth
thoracic vertebra, at the lower border of which it becomes continuous with the descending aorta.
It thus forms two curvatures: one with its convexity upward, the other with its convexity forward and to the left. Its upper border is usually about 2.5 cm. below the superior border to the manubrium sterni.
The Arch of Aorta (Aortic Arch) is covered anteriorly by the
pleuraand anterior margins of the lungs, and by the remains of the thymus.
As the vessel runs backward its left side is in contact with the left lung and pleura.
Passing downward on the left side of this part of the arch are four nerves; in order from before backward these are, the left
phrenic, the lower of the superior cardiac branches of the left vagus, the superior cardiac branch of the left sympathetic, and the trunk of the left vagus.
As the left
vagus nervecrosses the arch, it gives off its recurrent branch, which hooks around below the vessel and then passes upward on its right side.
The highest left
intercostal veinruns obliquely upward and forward on the left side of the arch, between the phrenic and vagus nerves.
On the right are the deep part of the
cardiac plexus, the left recurrent nerve, the esophagus, and the thoracic duct; the trachealies behind and to the right of the vessel.
Below are the bifurcation of the pulmonary artery, the left bronchus, the
ligamentum arteriosum, the superficial part of the cardiac plexus, and the left recurrent nerve.
ligamentum arteriosumconnects the commencement of the left pulmonary artery to the aortic arch.
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