The aorta is the largest vessel in the human body. It has an inner coat called the tunica intima, which is  made up of endothelium, basal lamina and subendothelial connective tissue. It has a thick middle coat called the tunica media and a generous outer coat called tunica adventitia. The media extends from the internal elastic lamina (membrane)  to the external elastic lamina. The inner lining is made up of endothelium which is separated from the media by  the internal elastic membrane. Between the endothelium and the internal elastic membrane is the subendothelial connective tissue or cushion.

Differential diagnosis: The aorta can be confused with any luminal organ but its wide lumen makes it easy to make out. It is devoid of villi or mucosal fold and therefore must be distinguished from colon, appendix (with many lymphatic rings) and trachea (with pseudostratified epithelium). The endothelium is a modified form of squamous epithelium and it is of the simple variety (i.e. it has only one layer of cells).

Aorta explanatory video




Gross anatomy
Organ integration
Clinical anatomy

Computer diagnosis




Chemical Pathology

Anatomical Pathology




Main Subject Course Links

Anatomy Anesthesia Biochemistry Chemical pathology Community Health
Dermatology ENT Gynecology Hematology Imaging
Medicine Medical microbiology Obstetrics Ophthalmology Pathology
Pediatrics Pharmacology Physiology Psychiatry    Surgery/Orthopedics
eLab eOSCE eProcedures eInvestigations eSchool/Videopage
eOrgans eLocator Anatomy Museum eDissector eFractures
All diseases eClerking eTreatment eDoctor ePatient


Electronic School of Medicine
Creator: Oluwole Ogunranti