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It's Topic Tuesday!

Hi beloved friends, colleagues and family at Aortic Hope. I hope you have been doing well since the last time we talked. For our members reading from the NorthEast, I hope you are bundling up during the blizzard! For our conversation today, I wanted to review some aortic anatomy!

So if you have already downloaded our Aortic Dissection patient guide, you will have seen some nice graphics in page 13-14 showing the organization and cross-sectional layers of the aorta:

If you remember, the aorta encompasses our entire body and includes an arch, ascending aortic area, and descending aortic zone, traveling all the way down the abdomen and splitting into the two large arteries that supply our legs!

A cross-section analysis of our aorta shows us how it is actually composed of 3 beautiful layers including the intima, media, and adventitia.

Another way doctors look at the aorta is the aorta and standardize its anatomy is to classify it into different "zones." This is a great link and graphic provided by the RK.MD website:

Having this standardized classification system helps your providers directly pinpoint where aneurysms or dissections involve. Some "high-yield" zones to remember are the following:

  • Zone 1 = the innominate artery (also known as brachiocephalic trunk), which supplies blood to the right side of your brain and right arm, and the left common carotid artery, which supplies blood to the left side of your brain.

  • Zone 2 = the left subclavian artery which gives off several arteries that supply your chest wall, left arm and left brain.

Collectively, the innominate artery, left common carotid artery and left subclavian arteries constitute the "Great vessels" of the aorta.

  • From Zone 3 onwards, we are officially in the descending aorta.

  • Zone 6-7 include your celiac trunk and SMA arteries which provide blood to the major organs in your abdomen including the stomach, liver, and intestines.

  • Zone 8 is the renal vessels which supply our kidneys

  • Finally by zone 10, the aorta splits into the "common iliac" arteries which supply blood to our groin/pelvis, lower extremities, reproductive organs and legs.

And that wraps up this week's session my friends. I hope you have an incredible week. Stay warm and stay happy and when you have time try looking at that beautiful graphic and see how much you can memorize! Cover the labels with your hand and see how many you can get right. After all: the more you Know Aorta, the more you can Think Aorta!

Until next time,


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