Abdominal Aorta

The abdominal aorta is the largest artery of the abdominal cavity.  The aorta originates at the heart, forms and arch and then continues as the descending aorta.    Above the diaphragm, it is called the thoracic aorta; below the diaphragm, it is called the abdominal aorta.  There are many smaller arteries that branch from the aorta and supply blood to the upper and lower extremities.  The model below shows the branches of the aorta in the abdomen and the larger vessels that supply blood to the intestines and legs.   Just under the diaphragm, the celiac trunk supplies blood to the stomach, liver, and spleen.   Next, the superior and inferior mesenteric arteries supply blood to the intestines.

The aorta has two large branches that deliver blood to the kidney, known as the renal arteries.

The aorta eventually splits into the left and right common iliac arteries.  Those arteries split again to form the internal and external iliac arteries.  The external iliac will continue into the leg and become the femoral artery.