Aorta abdominalis

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Ultrasound image of the abdominal aorta: diameter 1.9 cm (standard) Abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery Pair of branches of the abdominal aorta Unpaired branches of the abdominal aorta

The abdominal aorta forms an unpaired continuation of the thoracic aorta and transports oxygenated blood to all abdominal and pelvic organs, supplying the muscles of the back, abdominal walls and diaphragm, external genitalia and lower limbs. The abdominal aorta runs close to the spine along the left flank of the inferior vena cava from the diaphragm aorticus (Th12 level) to its bifurcation (L4), where it divides into the iliacae communes (a. Iliaca communis dextra et sinistra) , which then continue to pelvic area, where it further branches. The abdominal aorta has several groups of branches. The basic aspect of the division is the fact that some branches supply the organs, while others participate in the supply of the surrounding walls. Accordingly, we recognize:

  • parietal (wall) branches;
  • visceral (organ) branches.

The parietal branches of the abdominal aorta include aa. phrenicae inferiores extending just below the aortic hiatus and extending along the lower surface of the diaphragm, 4 pairs of aa. lumbales, a. sacralis mediana forming an unpaired continuation of the abdominal aorta and aa. common iliacae. Aa. Phrenicae inferiores are involved in the supply of the diaphragm and also contribute to the nutrition of the adrenal glands (aa. suprarenales superiores). The lumbar arteries are a continuation of the thoracic intercostal arteries (branches of the thoracic aorta) and supply the corresponding sections of the lumbar region and abdominal wall. Aa. iliacae completely supply the lower half of the body.

Visceral branches of the abdominal aorta can be further divided into:

  • paired
  • unpaired


Typical unpaired branches include craniocaudally:

  • Truncus coeliacus

Truncus coeliacus is a very short branch, which is only a few centimeters from its distance in the Th12 / L1 area divided into 3 main branches - a. splenica supplying the large gastric curvature , body and tail of the pancreas and spleen, a. gastrica sinistra running along the small gastric curvature and supplying the pars abdominalis of the esophagus and a. hepatica communis nourishing the area of ​​the large curvature, duodenum, pancreatic head and liver with gallbladder.

  • A. mesenterica superior

A. mesenterica superior (spaced about 2 cm caudally from the truncus coeliacus behind the head of the pancreas, level L1) is the main branch for the duodenum(aa. Pancreaticoduodenales inferiores), jejunum(aa. Jejunales), ileum(aa. Ileales), caecum (a. ileocolica), colon ascendens and colon transversum (a. colica dextra) up to the Cannon-Böhm point (about 2/3 colon transversum). Outside the [small|small intestine]], appendix and large intestine, the mesenteric artery it is also involved in the supply of the head of the pancreas, it can send branches also for the stomach and in up to 30% of cases even an additional hepatic artery.

  • A. mesenterica inferior

A. mesenterica inferior (distance at the level of the upper part of the L3 vertebra) is followed by a supply to the. (anastomosis with a. colica media - anastomosis magna Haleri) and supplies blood for the rest of the colon transversum, for the colon descendens (a. colica sinistra), sigmoid (aa. sigmoideae) and rectum (a. rectalis superior), where it anastomoses with paired aa . rectales mediae (from the internal iliac artery), which allows partial (but not entirely sufficient) compensation in the event of obstruction of one of these arteries.

The paired branches of the abdominal aorta are:

  • aa.suprarenales mediae supplying the right and left adrenal glands;
  • aa.renales (a.renalis dx. et sin.) for both kidneys and as a lower branch for the adrenal glands (aa. suprarenales inferiores);
  • aa.testiculares/ovaricae (a. testicularis / ovarica dx. et sin.) nourishing the gonads (testicles / ovaries).


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  • Incomplete citation of publication. ČIHÁK, Radomír. Anatomie III. Grada Publishing, spol. s. r. o., 2004. pp. 673. ISBN 80-247-1132-X.