The aorta is the largest artery in the body. Oxygenated blood is pumped from the left ventricle of the heart into the aorta, which carries the blood to the rest of the body. The aortic valve lies between the left ventricle and aorta. The aortic arch has branches that supply the head and arms. The descending aorta carries blood to the lower body. The portion of the descending aorta that is in the chest cavity with the lung is called the thoracic aorta. The portion of the descending aorta that is in the abdomen (belly) is called the abdominal aorta.


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