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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Veins: Abdomen: Inferior Vena Cava

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Veins: Abdomen

Inferior Vena Cava

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


The inferior vena cava, in cases of transposition of the viscera (0.2-0.5% of individuals), may lie on the left side of the aorta. It may also lie to the left of the aorta, without visceral transposition, crossing to the right to gain the caval opening immediately below the diaphragm. It may also cross over after receiving the the left renal vein. When the inferior vena cava is doubled, the left cava usually passes across the aorta into the right after receiving the left renal vein. In this case, there may be a communication between the right and left veins in the position of the normal left common iliac vein.

The inferior vena cava may join with the azygos vein to enter the superior vena cava. In this case, the hepatic veins open independently into the right atrium.

The inferior vena cava may be doubled (2.2-3.0% of cases) or it may be absent.

If the inferior vena cava is absent, the blood from the lower limbs may pass through the diaphram into the superior vena cava by way of a large vein in the location of the ascending lumbar and azygos veins. As a result, the hepatic veins drain directly into the right atrium through the normal caval opening in the diaphragm.

The inferior vena cava may receive the left spermatic vein. On occasion it receives a left accessory renal vein that passes behind the aorta. It is into this vessel that the usual tributaries of the left renal vein may open.

The right ureter has been found passing behind the vena cava; it may receive several accessory renal veins, and as many as seven on each side have been seen. The lumbar veins may enter the inferior vena cava on one or both sides as a common trunk.

It should be noted that any venous channel returning blood through the aortic hiatus of the diaphragm is called a "persistent posterior cardinal vein,"

The inferior vena cava may be unusually short (about 6 cm) and may be formed from three roots.

Image 106, Image 170, Image 195, Image 209, Image 216, Image 374, Image 418, Image 419, Image 426

Doubled

See Image 106, Image 224, See , Image 374, Image 375, Image 404

Left Persistent

Image 169, See Image 195, See Image 209, Image 210, Image 214, See Image 216, Image 260, Image 373Y, See Image 374, See Image 375

Transposition

See Image 373Y


References

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