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Winthrop University Hospital

Thoracic Aortic Vascular Treatment Center

The Aorta

The aorta is the largest and main artery in the body, originating from the heart's major pumping chamber, the left ventricle, and it carried blood throughout the body through the smaller arteries branching from it. The aorta carries oxygen rich blood from the heart to all areas of the body. Major braches of the aorta carry blood to the brain, kidneys, digestive tract and extremities. Diseases which affect the aorta can inhibit blood flow to these vital areas.

Diseases of the aorta

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Aortic Plaque

The walls of the aorta is made up of three layers. The inner layer is termed the intima, the middle layer is called the media, and the outer layer is known as the adventitia. These layers give the aorta an elastic property. Over time as we all age the is a deposition of plaque which occurs. If this process is accelerated, the build up of fatty deposition can narrow the aorta and its major branches in the extremities. This can lead to peripheral arterial disease, also know as P.A.D.

Aortic Aneurysm

Weaknesses in a segment of the wall of the aorta can case the segment to budge outward, like a bubble on a bicycle tire. This is called an aneurysm. This vascular out pouching can occur in various places along the length of the aorta. They can occur in the chest or the abdomen. This is a serious condition and should be followed by a cardiovascular team.


An Aortic Aneurysm can leak and/or rupture. This can be a life threatening emergency. But there are screening test which can be performed to detect this condition early.

Aortic Dissection

Aortic Dissection is a potentially life-threatening condition in which ther is bleeding between the layers of the aorta itself. This may present suddenly, and is a surgical emergency.

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259 First Street | Mineola NY 11501 | 516-663-0333


This site provides information as a resource. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
Always consult a physician or healthcare provider for treatment and guidance toward good health.
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