Aortic body

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

In the human heart, the aortic body is one of several small cluster of chemoreceptors, baroreceptors, and supporting cells located along the aortic arch.


It measures changes in blood pressure and the composition of arterial blood flowing past it, including the partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide but not pH. The chemoreceptors responsible for sensing changes in blood gases are called glomus cells.

It gives feedback to the medulla oblongata via the afferent branches of the vagus nerve (X). The medulla, in turn, regulates breathing and blood pressure.


A paraganglioma is a tumor that may involve the aortic body.

Swelling can also occur.


Some sources equate the "aortic bodies" and "paraaortic bodies",[1] while other sources explicitly distinguish between the two.[2][3] When a distinction is made, the "aortic bodies" are chemoreceptors which regulate circulation, while the "paraaortic bodies" are the chromaffin cells which manufacture catecholamines.


  1. Template:Dorlands
  2. Aortic+Bodies at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
  3. Para-Aortic+Bodies at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

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