Aortic sinus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Aortic sinus
Aorta laid open to show the semilunar valves. (N.B. captions don't align with current terminology)
Synonymssinus of Valsalva
Latinsinus aortae
Anatomical terminology

An aortic sinus, also known as a sinus of Valsalva,[1] is one of the anatomic dilations of the ascending aorta, which occurs just above the aortic valve. These widenings are between the wall of the aorta and each of the three cusps of the aortic valve.[2]


There are generally three aortic sinuses, one anterior and two posterior sinuses. These give rise to coronary arteries:

  • The left posterior aortic sinus gives rise to the left coronary artery.
  • The anterior aortic sinus gives rise to the right coronary artery.
  • The right posterior aortic sinus usually gives rise to no vessels, and is often known as the non-coronary sinus.

The aortic sinuses are typically more prominent than the pulmonary sinuses.[3]

Clinical significance[edit]

If the coronary arteries arise from the wrong aortic sinuses, this can put the heart's ventricles at risk of ischaemia.[4] This is often only discovered when a heart attack has already occurred, usually before the age of 20 and during exercise.[4]


Each aortic sinus can also be referred to as the sinus of Valsalva,[1] the sinus of Morgagni, the sinus of Mehta, the sinus of Otto, or Petit's sinus.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Weinreich, Michael; Yu, Pey-Jen; Trost, Biana (2015). "Sinus of Valsalva Aneurysms: Review of the Literature and an Update on Management". Clinical Cardiology. 38 (3): 185–189. doi:10.1002/clc.22359. ISSN 1932-8737. PMC 6711005. PMID 25757442.
  2. ^ Dorland's (2012). Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary (32nd ed.). Elsevier. p. 1719. ISBN 978-1-4160-6257-8.
  3. ^ Issa, Ziad F.; Miller, John M.; Zipes, Douglas P. (2012-01-01), Issa, Ziad F.; Miller, John M.; Zipes, Douglas P. (eds.), "Chapter 23 - Adenosine-Sensitive (Outflow Tract) Ventricular Tachycardia", Clinical Arrhythmology and Electrophysiology: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease (Second Edition), Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, pp. 562–586, doi:10.1016/b978-1-4557-1274-8.00023-3, ISBN 978-1-4557-1274-8, retrieved 2020-11-11
  4. ^ a b Thiene, G.; Rizzo, S.; Basso, C. (2016-01-01), Buja, L. Maximilian; Butany, Jagdish (eds.), "Chapter 10 - Pathology of Sudden Death, Cardiac Arrhythmias and Conduction System", Cardiovascular Pathology (Fourth Edition), San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 361–433, doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-420219-1.00010-0, ISBN 978-0-12-420219-1, retrieved 2020-11-11

External links[edit]