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|Latin||Glomus aorticum, corpora paraaortica|
Some sources equate the "aortic bodies" and "paraaortic bodies", while other sources explicitly distinguish between the two. When a distinction is made, the "aortic bodies" are chemoreceptors which regulate the circulatory system, while the "paraaortic bodies" are the chromaffin cells which manufacture catecholamines.
It measures changes in blood pressure and the composition of arterial blood flowing past it, including the partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The chemoreceptors responsible for sensing changes in blood gases are called glomus cells.
It gives feedback to the medulla oblongata, specifically to the dorsal respiratory group, via the afferent branches of the vagus nerve (X). The medulla, in turn, regulates breathing and blood pressure.
A paraganglioma is a tumor that may involve the aortic body.