USMLE Step 1: Aorta and branches

Tyler York

The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It gives rise to many critical branches that supply vital organs. Branches of the aorta are essential to know to understand applied anatomy of the aorta like subclavian steal syndrome and giant cell or temporal arteritis.

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Full USMLE Step 1: Aorta and branches video transcript:

Hi everyone this is Sujata. In this video we will talk about AOTA and its branches. The AOTA is the largest artery in the body. It is composed of four major segments which are the ascending aota, arch of Aota, descending or thoracic aota and abdominal aota. The ascending AOTA arises from the left ventricle.
It gives rise to the right and left coronary arteries, which arise from the right and left aotic sinuses, respectively. The arch of aota gives rise to many critical branches. It gives rise to three direct branches, which are the left subclavian artery, the left common carotid artery, and the brachiocathalic trunk, which is also known as the enominate artery. The brachiocathalic trunk further divides into the right subclavian.
And the right common carotid artery, the subclavian artery, gives rise to four direct branches. These are the vertebral artery, the thyrocervical trunk, the cost of cervical trunk, and the internal thoracic artery. It then continues as the axillary artery. The axillary artery becomes the brachial artery, which then divides into the radial and ulnar arteries.
The radial and ulnar in turn anastomos with each other in the palm of the hand. The vertebral artery ascends into the brain through the foram and magnum, where it connects with the other vertebral artery to become the basilar artery. The basilar artery in turn supplies the posterior circulation of the brain through the circle of Willis. The common carotid artery will divide into external and internal carotid arteries.
The external carotid artery, in turn, ends as the superficial temporal and the maxillary arteries. It also gives off the facial artery. The thoracic aota gives off visceral and parietal branches that supply the pericardium, the bronchi, esophagus, and mediastinum.
The thoracic aota becomes the abdominal aota after passing through the aotic hiatus in the diaphragm at the level of T12. It gives off 4 unpaired and five paired branches. The five paired branches are the inferior phrenic, supra, renal, renal, gonadal, and lumbar branches. The four unpaired branches are from above to below.
Celiac trunk, superior mesenteric artery, inferior mesenteric artery, and median sacral artery. The abdominal artery ends by dividing into two common iliac arteries. Each common iliac artery further divides into internal iliac and external iliac. The femoral artery is a continuation of the external iliac artery.
Let us look at a few high yield concepts on applied anatomy of the aota and its branches. The superficial temporal artery is commonly involved in giant cell or temporal arthritis. It presents characteristically with claudication of the jaw and scalp tenderness. Subclavian steal syndrome can result from cases of stenosis of the subclavian artery.
Before the origin of the vertebral artery, it happens in subclavian stenosis from atherosclerosis, giant cell arteritis, etc. There is a retrograde flow in the vertebral artery in subclavian steal syndrome, which affects circulation in the posterior brain and may present with stroke like symptoms of presyncope, syncope, dizziness, Vertigo, blurry vision.
Diplopia etc. Some patients may present with claudication of the upper limb. It is typically precipitated by upper extremity exercise. Other features include lower blood pressure in the affected arm and weak or absent pulses. A bruit may be heard in some cases in the supra clavicle or fosa. Thanks for watching. Hope this video helps you understand AOTA. What are its branches?
And what is the applied anatomy?
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