Aortic Arch

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The aortic arch is the part of the aorta artery which forms a bend or curve as it ascends, turns back and then down, forming an inverted U. The aortic arch lies within the mediastinum, which is the central compartment of the thoracic cavity. Being the second section of the aorta, the aortic arch gives off three smaller branches that shoot up: 1) the brachiocephalic artery, 2)the left common carotid artery, and 3) the left subclavian artery. Since it is part of the aorta, the aortic arch and its top branches carry oxygenated blood to be distributed to the rest of the body.