The esophagus is a muscular, tube-like organ that assists the pharynx in directing food to the stomach. The esophagus receives its blood supply from elastic vessels known as arteries that transport blood from the heart. Each esophageal artery originates from the frontal section of the aorta, the largest artery in the human body. Each artery of the esophagus runs down its length and connects to other arteries. One of these arteries connects with those of the inferior thyroid, which is an extension of the subclavian artery. Another junctions with the left gastric artery, which extends from the abdominal aorta. Yet another runs the length of the esophagus and branches with the inferior phrenic arteries that provide the diaphragm with its blood supply. Each esophageal artery forms what is known as an anastomosis. The anastomoses are tubular connections that attach the arteries both to one another and also the adjoining branches that run from the esophagus to other systems.