The ascending aorta (Latin: aorta ascendens, pars ascendens aortae) is the first part of the aorta, which arises from the left ventricle of the heart within the middle mediastinum.
This part of the aorta is located within the pericardial sac and is about 5 cm long. It passes through the mediastinum and continues as the aortic arch, after emerging from the pericardium.
Two essential blood vessels arise from the ascending aorta: the right and left coronary arteries. These branches originate immediately above the aortic valve on their respective sides and supply the heart with oxygenated blood.
The ascending aorta is related to the following structures:
- anteriorly - with the pericardium (which covers the ascending aorta), thymus, and sternum;
- posteriorly - with the left atrium of the heart, right pulmonary artery, and right main bronchus;
- on the right (and posterior) - with the superior vena cava and the right atrium;
- on the left - with the left atrium.