Aortic hiatus

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Aortic hiatus
Gray391.png
The diaphragm. Under surface. (Aortic hiatus labeled near center.)
Celiac ganglion.jpg
Celiac and cranial mesenteric ganglion in a cat. 1 Crus sinistrum (Diaphragma), 2 hiatus aorticus, 3 Aorta, 4 Arteria lumbalis, 5 Nervus splanchnicus major, 6 Arteria celiaca, 7 Arteria phrenica caudalis, 8 Ganglion celiacum, 9 Plexus celiacus, 10 Ganglion mesentericum craniale, 11 Plexus mesentericus cranialis, 12 Arteria mesenterica cranialis, 13 Nervus splanchnicus minor, 14 Adrenal gland, 15 Arteria abdominalis cranialis, 16 Stomach, 17 Liver (Lobus caudatus), 18 Kidney
Latin hiatus aorticus
Gray's subject #117 406
Dorlands/Elsevier h_11/12421932

The aortic hiatus is a hole in the human diaphragm through which the aorta and thoracic duct passes from the thorax into the abdomen. It is the lowest and most posterior of the large apertures.

It is located approximately at the level of the twelfth thoracic vertebra (T12).

Strictly speaking, it is not an aperture in the diaphragm but an osseoaponeurotic opening between it and the vertebral column, and therefore behind the diaphragm; occasionally some tendinous fibers prolonged across the bodies of the vertebræ from the medial parts of the lower ends of the crura pass behind the aorta, and thus convert the hiatus into a fibrous ring.

The hiatus is situated slightly to the left of the middle line, and is bounded in front by the crura, and behind by the body of the first lumbar vertebra.

Through it pass the aorta, the azygos vein, and the thoracic duct; occasionally the azygos vein is transmitted through the right crus.

Additional images

The Aorta does not pass through the aortic hiatus, rather, it passes posterior to it. The Azygos vein and thoracic duct pass through this opening.

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