Blood Supply

Blood Supply to the Aortic Wall

Ashley Davidoff MD

The Common Vein Copyright 2012


The aortic wall as all tissues requires oxygen and metabolic substrates. The endothelium is particu;arly acive. The vasa vasorum are small vessels which branch off aortic branches to form a capillary network in the outer aortic wall supplying the outer adventitial layer and the outer layers of the muscular layer (tunica media). The remainder of the aortic wall (inner layers) is supplied by diffusion of blood from the vasa vasorum or from the vascular lumen.

The Small Vessels of the Aortic Wall

01569b02 aorta ascending aortic vasa vasorum blood supply to the aortic wall Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD

Applied Biology

Syphiliyic aorttitis is a disease that affects the vasa vasorum of the ascending aorta resulting in an aortitis that eventually causes dytrophic calcification as a resultof ischemia to the middle and outer wall of the aorta. Experimental ischemia produced by ligating the intercostal arteries in dogs causes an acute loss of the elasticity of the aorta.

Syphilitic Ascending Aortic Disease

This lateral examination of the chest shows fine calcification in an ectatic ascending aorta associated with aortic annular calcification. Note the remarkable paucity of atherosclerotic change in the descending aorta. These findings are highly characteristic of tertiary syphilis of the aorta.

Copyright 2012 Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD. 00018c