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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 8 - Cardiovascular System

Plate 8.153 Aorta

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed


Plate 8.153 Aorta

Human, 10% formalin, Weigert's elastic tissue stain and phloxine, 162 x.

The aorta is an elastic artery. The intima is a small tunic and consists of collagenous and elastic fibers. Small bundles of smooth muscle fibers and concentrically arranged elastic fibers are found in deeper layers of the intima.

The media is the thickest tunic and consists mainly of concentrically arranged laminae of elastic tissue, which are connected with each other to form a complex elastic net. Between these elastic fibers are found smooth muscle fibers and connective tissue.

The adventitia is small and not well organized. It is composed of fibroelastic tissue containing blood vessels (vasa vasorum).

The abundant elastic tissue in the wall of the aorta helps to make the wall easily distensible and helps maintain a constant blood flow.

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