Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Anatomy

To better understand an abdominal aortic aneurysm, it helps to understand the anatomy of the abdomen.

The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It is divided into three main segments:

  • Aortic arch:
    • Originates at the heart
    • Supplies the coronary arteries and the head
  • Thoracic aorta:
    • Supplies the chest wall
  • Abdominal aorta:
    • Supplies the abdomen
    • Splits into the iliac vessels, which supply the pelvis and lower extremities

Last Updated: Sep 30, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm References
  1. Ailawadi G, Eliason JL, Upchurch GR Jr: Current concepts in the pathogenesis of abdominal aortic aneurysm. J Vasc Surg 2003 Sep; 38(3): 584-8. [12947280]
  2. Fleming C, Whitlock EP, Beil TL, Lederle FA. Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm: a best-evidence systematic review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2005 Feb 1;142(3):203-11. [15684209]
  3. Isselbacher EM. Thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms. Circulation. 2005 Feb 15;111(6):816-28. [15710776]
  4. Lyon C, Clark DC. Diagnosis of acute abdominal pain in older patients. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Nov 1;74(9):1537-44. [17111893]
  5. Sakalihasan N, Limet R, Defawe OD. Abdominal aortic aneurysm. Lancet. 2005 Apr 30-May 6;365(9470):1577-89. [15866312]
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