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Ligamentum Arteriosum
Cardiovascular System

Ligamentum Arteriosum

Ligamentum arteriosum

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Morphology/Structure

The ligamentum arteriosum is an embryological remnant that connects the aortic arch to the pulmonary trunk at its point of bifurcation.

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Key Features/Anatomical Relations

The ligamentum arteriosum sits inferior to the aortic arch and superior to the bifurcation of the pulmonary trunk, approximately at the level of the fifth thoracic vertebra. Branches of the superficial cardiac plexus wrap around the ligamentum arteriosum. Additionally, the recurrent laryngeal branch of the left vagus nerve wraps around the aortic arch just posterior to the ligamentum arteriosum before ascending to the larynx. On the right-hand side, the recurrent laryngeal branch typically wraps around the right subclavian artery.

Function

In fetal life, the ligamentum arteriosum is called the ductus arteriosus and is a patent vessel that shunts blood away from the relatively undeveloped lungs to systemic circulation. In adulthood, it persists as a vestigial piece of connective tissue that connects the aorta and pulmonary trunk.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Persistent ductus arteriosus

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Aortic Arch

ScienceDirect image

Interruption of the aortic arch is a condition in which communication between the proximal part of the aorta and the descending aorta is interrupted, usually due to lack of tissue between these portions of the aorta, and a PDA feeds the descending aorta.

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