The abdominal aorta is the largest artery in the abdominal cavity. As part of the aorta, it is a direct continuation of the descending aorta (of the thorax).
It begins at the level of the diaphragm, crossing it via the aortic hiatus, technically behind the diaphragm, at the vertebral level of T12. It travels down the posterior wall of the abdomen, anterior to the vertebral column. It thus follows the curvature of the lumbar vertebrae, that is, convex anteriorly. The peak of this convexity is at the level of the third lumbar vertebra (L3). It runs parallel to the inferior vena cava, which is located just to the right of the abdominal aorta, and becomes smaller in diameter as it gives off branches. This is thought to be due to the large size of its principal branches. At the 11th rib, the diameter is 122mm long and 55mm wide and this is because of the constant pressure
The descending aorta is part of the aorta, the largest artery in the body. The descending aorta is the part of the aorta beginning at the aortic arch that runs down through the chest and abdomen. The descending aorta is divided into two portions, the thoracic and abdominal, in correspondence with the two great cavities of the trunk in which it is situated. Within the abdomen, the descending aorta branches into the two common iliac arteries which serve the pelvis and eventually legs.
The ligamentum arteriosum connects the superior surface of the left branch of the pulmonary artery to the proximal descending aorta. The blood bypasses the lungs through the ductus arteriosus during embryonic circulation. This becomes the ligamentum arteriosum postnatal as pulmonary circulation begins.
Vascular surgery is a specialty of surgery in which diseases of the vascular system, or arteries and veins, are managed by medical therapy, minimally-invasive catheter procedures, and surgical reconstruction. The specialty evolved from general and cardiac surgery as well as minimally invasive techniques pioneered by interventional radiology. Early leaders of the field included Russian surgeon Nikolai Korotkov, noted for developing early surgical techniques, American interventional radiologist Charles Theodore Dotter who is credited with inventing minimally invasive angioplasty, and Australian Robert Paton, who helped the field achieve recognition as a specialty. Edwin Wylie of San Francisco was one of the early American pioneers who developed and fostered advanced training in vascular surgery and pushed for its recognition as a specialty in the United States in the 1970s. The vascular surgeon is trained in the diagnosis and management of diseases affecting all parts of the vascular system except that of the heart and brain. Cardiothoracic surgeons manage surgical disease of the heart and its vessels. Neurosurgeons and interventional neuroradiologists manage surgical disease of the vessels in the brain (e.g., intracranial aneurysms).
The specialty continues to be based on operative arterial and venous surgery but since the early 1990s has evolved greatly. There is now considerable emphasis on minimally invasive alternatives to surgery. The field was originally pioneered by interventional radiologists, chiefly Dr. Charles Dotter, who invented angioplasty. Further development of the field has occurred via joint efforts between interventional radiology, vascular surgery, and interventional cardiology. This area of vascular surgery is called Endovascular Surgery or Interventional Vascular Radiology, a term that some in the specialty append to their primary qualification as Vascular Surgeon. Endovascular and endovenous procedures can now form the bulk of a vascular surgeon's practice.
The thoracic aorta is contained in the posterior mediastinal cavity.
It begins at the lower border of the fourth thoracic vertebra where it is continuous with the aortic arch, and ends in front of the lower border of the twelfth thoracic vertebra, at the aortic hiatus in the diaphragm where it becomes the abdominal aorta.
Aortic dissection occurs when a tear in the inner wall of the aorta causes blood to flow between the layers of the wall of the aorta, forcing the layers apart. In most cases this is associated with severe characteristic chest or abdominal pain described as "tearing" in character, and often with other symptoms that result from decreased blood supply to other organs. Aortic dissection is a medical emergency and can quickly lead to death, even with optimal treatment, as a result of decreased blood supply to other organs, cardiac failure, and sometimes rupture of the aorta. Aortic dissection is more common in those with a history of high blood pressure, a known thoracic aortic aneurysm, and in a number of conditions that affect blood vessel wall integrity such as Marfan syndrome and the vascular subtype of Ehlers–Danlos syndrome. The diagnosis is made with medical imaging (computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging or echocardiography).
The treatment of aortic dissection depends on the part of the aorta involved. Surgery is usually required for dissections that involve the aortic arch, while dissections of the part further away from the heart may be treated with blood pressure lowering only. Since the 1990s endovascular aneurysm repair (carried out from inside the blood vessels) has been used in specific cases.
In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.
Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.