The key difference between aorta and artery is that the aorta is the biggest artery that carries oxygenated blood from the heart, while artery is a blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood into other organs, tissues, and cells in our body.
The heart is one of the main organs in our body. It provides oxygen and all the other necessary nutrients to our body parts. Thus, the heart pumps blood through blood vessels, and the whole body gets nourishment via this circulatory system. Blood vessels are of three types; arteries, veins and capillaries. Arteries carry blood away from the heart, mainly oxygenated blood from the heart. Capillaries facilitate the actual exchange of water and chemicals between blood and tissues. Veins carry blood from the capillaries back to the heart. Aorta and pulmonary artery are the two main arteries directly connected with the heart.
What is Aorta?
Aorta is one of the most important arteries in our body. It is the biggest artery we have. Aorta serves as the main trunk of the arterial system. It starts from the left ventricle and carries oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. At the point where it originates from the left ventricle, there is a heart valve called aortic valve. It is three leaflets bearing the valve, and it prevents the backflow of oxygenated blood from the aorta to the left ventricle.
Once the aorta originates from the left ventricle, it extends down the abdomen and divides into two small arteries and provides blood into all parts of our body except to lungs via systemic circulation. Ascending branches of aorta provide blood to the heart while aortic arch gives blood to head, neck and arm region. The branches arising from the thoracic descending aorta supply oxygenated blood to the chest while branches from the abdominal aorta supply the abdomen. Common iliac arteries supply blood to legs and pelvis.
What is Artery?
Artery is a type of blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to tissues of our body. However, there is an exception to this definition. The pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to lungs for the oxygenation or the purification.
Since arteries carry oxygen-rich blood, blood looks bright red in colour. And contain more haemoglobin as well. Artery wall composes with three layers of smooth muscle tissue. They are intima, media and adventitia. The largest artery or the main trunk of the arteries is the aorta which arises from the left ventricle of our heart. Aorta divides into small arteries and distributes oxygen and other nutrients throughout the body except for lungs.
What are the Similarities Between Aorta and Artery?
- Both the aorta and artery, carry blood away from the heart.
- Blood looks bright red in colour in both vessels.
- Both Aorta and Artery contain blood with a high oxygen
- They are part of the efferent vessels of the circulatory system.
- These vessels are made up of a smooth muscle and consist of three layers; intima, media and adventitia.
- Both are efferent blood vessels.
What is the Difference Between Aorta and Artery?
Aorta is the biggest artery that carries blood from the left ventricle of the heart to all parts of the body except to the lungs while an artery is an efferent blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood throughout the body. Furthermore, aorta carries oxygenated blood only, but the pulmonary artery carries oxygen-depleted carbon dioxide-rich blood from the heart. This is the key difference between aorta and artery.
Summary – Aorta vs Artery
Blood circulatory system consists of an organ (heart) and a network of blood vessels. Among the three types of blood vessels, arteries are one type. An artery is a blood vessel which carries oxygenated blood from the heart to other parts of the body. However, an artery called pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to lungs for oxygenation and purification. Aorta and pulmonary artery are the most important arteries. Aorta is the main and biggest artery in our body. It originates from the left ventricle and transports oxygenated blood to the rest of the body via systemic circulation. This is the difference between aorta and artery.
1.“Arteries – National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available here
2.“How Does the Blood Circulatory System Work?” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Aug. 2016. Available here
1.”Aorta segments”By Mikael Häggström,”Dilation of the thoracic aorta: medical and surgical management”. Heart 92 (9): 1345–1352. DOI:10.1136/hrt.2005.074781. ISSN 1355-6037.(2015), (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.”Artery”By Kelvinsong – Own work, (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia