Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 599
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
hiatus in the diaphragm. At its commencement, it is situated on the left of the vertebral column; it approaches the median line as it descends; and, at its termination, lies directly in front of the column. The vessel describes a curve which is concave forward, and as the branches given off from it are small, its diminution in size is inconsiderable.

FIG. 530– The thoracic aorta, viewed from the left side. (See enlarged image)

Relations.—It is in relation, anteriorly, from above downward, with the root of the left lung, the pericardium, the esophagus, and the diaphragm; posteriorly, with the vertebral column and the hemiazygos veins; on the right side, with the azygos vein and thoracic duct; on the left side, with the left pleura and lung. The esophagus, with its accompanying plexus of nerves, lies on the right side of the aorta above; but at the lower part of the thorax it is placed in front of the aorta, and, close to the diaphragm, is situated on its left side.

Peculiarities.—The aorta is occasionally found to be obliterated at the junction of the arch with the thoracic aorta, just below the ductus arteriosus. Whether this is the result of disease, or of congenital malformation, is immaterial to our present purpose; it affords an interesting opportunity of observing the resources of the collateral circulation. The course of the anastomosing


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