• Annette Vegas


  • The thoracic aorta is a tubular structure that is divided into 5 segments (level 1–5):
    1. 1.

      Aortic root: from the aortic valve (AV) to the sinotubular junction (STJ)

    2. 2.

      Ascending aorta: STJ to innominate artery

    3. 3.

      Aortic arch: innominate artery to left subclavian artery (LSCA)

    4. 4.

      Descending thoracic aorta: LSCA to diaphragm

    5. 5.

      Abdominal aorta: below diaphragm

  • The ascending aorta has an average length of 7–11 cm, arch 2.2–3.6 cm, and the descending aorta 20–30 cm.

  • Normal aortic diameter varies with the measurement method (US, CT, MRI), age, sex, BSA, and the location, but typically it is up to 35 mm (±2 mm).

  • The aortic wall is 1–2 mm thick and comprises 3 layers: thin adventitia, elastic media, and a smooth intima (see p. 205).

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annette Vegas
    • 1
  1. 1.Professor of Anesthesiology, Former Director of Perioperative TEE, Department of AnesthesiaToronto General Hospital, University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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