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Esophageal branches of thoracic aorta

The esophageal branches (Latin: rami oesophageales) are visceral branches of the descending thoracic aorta that supply the middle third of the esophagus. There are usually four or five esophageal branches of the thoracic aorta.

These vessels descend obliquely and create a chain of anastomoses along the esophagus, by communicating with the esophageal branches of the inferior thyroid arteries above, and with ascending branches from the left inferior phrenic arteries and left gastric artery below.