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Difference Between Aorta and Pulmonary Arteries


Aorta vs Pulmonary Arteries

Both the pulmonary artery and the aorta are important parts of the circulatory system in the body. They perform different functions in the human body and are extremely important for its survival. There are interesting differences between them, and this is what we will explore in the section below.

· Functions

The first and most basic difference between the two relates to the fact that the pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood to the lungs. In fact, these arteries are the only ones that carry deoxygenated blood. All other arteries carry oxygen rich blood.

On the other hand, the aorta is the vessel carrying oxygen rich blood from the left ventricle to other parts of the body.

· Location

The second difference relates to their respective locations. The pulmonary artery starts at the base of the right ventricle-from the pulmonary trunk. It then branches out into the two lungs on both sides.

The aorta on the other hand, originates from the left ventricle and carries fresh blood to the body. It then descends into the abdomen, branching off into two smaller arteries.

· Divisions

The aorta is usually divided for the purpose of study, into 5 main parts. These are:

1. The ascending aorta

2. The arch of the aorta

3. The descending aorta

4. The thoracic aorta

5. The abdominal aorta

The pulmonary artery rises from the trunk and has only two parts-one going into the right lung and the other branching into the left.

· Diseases

They both also differ in the nature and types of diseases that afflict them. For instance, the most common affliction of the pulmonary arteries is pulmonary hypertension. This is the result of an obstruction or pressure in the two arteries. It also results in the weakening of the right ventricle. This is because it has to push the blood harder in order to move it to the lungs.

Apart from the condition above, a person may also suffer from congenital conditions like pulmonary stenosis.

The aorta mainly suffers from weakness as a result of disease. This results in dilation of the walls which further results in an aneurysm. It may even split and cause a dissection. People also suffer from hardening of the walls of the aorta and obstruction that can arise at the beginning of the main branch. The reasons may be anything between lifestyle factors and inherent weaknesses.


· The aorta carries oxygenated blood to the different parts of the body. The pulmonary arteries carry the deoxygenated blood to the lungs, where they are cleansed and oxygenated again.

· The pulmonary artery originates from the pulmonary trunk at the right ventricle. The aorta originates from the left ventricle.

· The aorta may be divided into 5 parts as it runs through the body. The pulmonary artery has 2 branches, each heading towards the respective lungs.

· Diseases of the pulmonary arteries include hypertension and congenital anomalies like stenosis. The aorta may be afflicted by hardening of the walls and different categories of rupture.

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1 Comment

  1. There are some histologic changed also between aorta and pulmonary trunk

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