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Learn about the aorta, the largest artery in the body that carries oxygen rich blood from the heart to all major organs and limbs.
The portion of the aorta in the chest is called the thoracic aorta. It begins at the level of the heart and extends upwards in the anterior chest (aortic root and ascending thoracic aorta), next passes from front to back under the neck (aortic arch), and then descends in the posterior chest adjacent to the spine (descending thoracic aorta).
Finally, the aorta continues through the abdomen (abdominal aorta), where at last it splits into two smaller branches (common iliac arteries) that supply the circulation to the lower extremities.
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