The middle and posterior mediastina. Left side. (Lig. arteriosum labeled at upper right.)
|left pulmonary artery|
The ligamentum arteriosum (or arterial ligament) is a small ligament attached to the superior surface of the left pulmonary artery and the proximal descending aorta. It is a nonfunctional vestige of the ductus arteriosus, and is formed within three weeks of birth.
The ligamentum arteriosum is closely related to the left recurrent laryngeal nerve, a branch of the left vagus nerve. After splitting from the left vagus nerve, the left recurrent laryngeal loops around the aortic arch posterior to the ligamentum arteriosum, after which it ascends to the larynx.
This ligament also plays a role in major trauma; it fixes the aorta in place during rapid decelerations recoil, consequently potentially resulting in ruptured aorta.
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