The ascending aorta begins in the left ventricle and proceeds to the aortic arch. The aorta is the body’s main blood vessel. It is an artery that delivers blood directly from the heart to practically all of the body’s tissues. The ascending aorta is a 5 cm segment of the aorta that may dilate or burst, causing aneurysms. Most thoracic aortic aneurysms begin in the ascending aorta.
Located on the left side of your heart, the ascending aorta is located above the left ventricle. It extends all the way up to and over the heart. It’s placed in your chest, just beyond the “breastbone”(sternum), on the right side.
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Structure of ascending aorta:
The aorta is divided into two parts: the thoracic aorta and the abdominal aorta. The thoracic aorta is located in the chest and the abdominal aorta is located in the abdomen. The thoracic aorta comprises the ascending aorta, the aortic arch, and the descending aorta, which are all connected by the aortic arch.
The ascending aorta is separated into two sections:
- Aortic root: The root of the ascending aorta is the initial section of the aorta that is closest to the aortic valve. The aortic sinuses, which are bulb-shaped chambers from which the right and left coronary arteries emerge, are included in this section. The root also includes the sinotubular junction (STJ), which is the point at which the ascending aorta becomes its regular tube-like configuration.
- Anterior segment of the tubular ascending aorta: The second part of the aorta starts after the STJ and continues to the aortic arch. It is divided into two sections. This section of the ascending aorta is devoid of any branches or branches-like structures.
The ascending aorta, like the rest of the aorta, is composed of three layers of tissue:
- Tunica intima: The aorta wall’s deepest layer, located at the base of the aortic arch.
- Media: Elastic fibers are found in the intermediate layer of the aorta wall, which is called the media. Over time, these fibers might grow stiff, causing the wall to become weak.
- Adventitia: Tiny vessels may be seen on the aorta wall’s outermost layer, which is called the adventitia.
Function of ascending aorta:
The aorta delivers oxygenated blood to practically every tissue in the body. As with other arteries, its capacity to dilate and contract plays a critical function in controlling blood pressure throughout the cardiovascular system.
When the left ventricle contracts and squeezes blood via the aortic valve, the ascending aorta offers a low-resistance conduit for blood flow discharged from the ventricle. The surge of blood flow generates a pressure wave that echoes throughout the cardiovascular system, which is why specific regions of the body feel a pulse.
Systole is the contraction of the left ventricle. Following contraction, the ventricle relaxes, a process called diastole. Ventricle relaxation and subsequent dilatation draw blood into it. The backflow of blood causes the aortic valve’s three leaflets to snap shut, preventing blood from flowing back into the ventricle.
While physicians are not quite certain, it is believed that the sinuses in the aortic root cause a swirling motion of blood to begin closing the aortic valve leaflets even before diastole produces backward pressure. The sinuses may also serve to prevent the aortic valve leaflets from being plastered flat against the aortic root’s walls, therefore locking them in the open position. In any case, surgeons who leave the sinuses in situ during aortic root surgery improve the valve’s performance.
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