arch of aorta (anatomy)

Last reviewed 01/2018

The arch of the aorta is the section of the vessel between the ascending and descending parts of the aorta. During its course it passes posteriorly and to the left over the left principal bronchus. Also, the convexity of the arch points superiorly and to the left.

The arch of the aorta is the origin of major arteries to the arms, head and neck. Within the walls of the arch are receptors adapted to monitor blood pressure. Inferior to the arch are the aortic bodies which are adapted to changes in the chemical composition of blood.