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Descending Aorta

Last Updated: Jun 24, 2015

Although the descending aorta is positioned to the left of the body’s midline, it gradually descends to directly in front of the vertebral column at the left of the 12th thoracic vertebra. The portion of the descending aorta above the diaphragm is called the thoracic aorta, and gives off branches into the thoracic wall. These branches, the bronchial, pericardial, and esophageal arteries, supply bloodmycontentbreak to the organs for which they were named. Below the diaphragm, the descending aorta becomes the abdominal aorta and stems off into branches that reach the abdominal wall and various tissues and organs of the abdomen.