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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus II: Cardiovascular System: Veins: Abdomen: Portal Vein

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

Portal Vein

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

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

The portal vein is rarely variable. It often receives the left gastric vein, and may also receive an accessory splenic, inferior phrenic branch, pancreaticoduodenal, a pulmonary vein or right gastroepiploic vein.

The hepatoduodenal ligament constitutes the anterior margin of the foramen of Winslow and enclosed the common bile duct, hepatic artery, and portal vein. Usually, the the hepatic artery is located to the left of the common bile duct, and the portal vein is situated posterior and between these two structures (Marois, et al.). Very rarely, the the portal vein lies anterior to the common bile duct and the hepatic artery (Marks, 1/386 operative procedures on the portal triad).

Branches forming the portal vein are also variable. Accessory splenic veins have been reported by several investigators The splenic vein may anastomose with the renal or with the superior mesenteric vein. The superior mesenteric vein has been reported opening into the renal vein.

The portal vein has been reported absent at least twice - hence, it is among the most constant blood vessels (including arteries and veins). It has also been reported to be doubled.

Image 20, Image 21, Image 176


Abernethy, J. (1809) An account of two instances of uncommon formation in the viscera of the human body. Philos. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. 17:292.

Anson, B.J., Ed. (1966) Morris' Human Anatomy, 12th ed. The Blakiston Division, McGraw -Hill Book Company, New York.

Bergman, R.A., Thompson, S.A., Afifi, A.K. and F.A. Saadeh. (1988) Compendium of Human Anatomic Variation: Catalog, Atlas and World Literature. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Baltimore and Munich.

Calas, F., Couppie, G., Martin, R. and Y. Bouchet. (1958) étude des affluents et de la formation de la veine porte. Assoc. Anatomistes, Comptes Rendus. 45:254-271.

Calori, L. (1888) Sulle communicazioni della vena porta con le vene generali dell corpo. Mem. R. Accad. Sci. Istituto di Bologna, S.4, 9:461-469.

Champneys, F. (1872) Communication between the external iliac and portal veins. J. Anat. Physiol. 6:417-419.

Davis, R.A., Milloy, F.J. and B.J. Anson. (1958) Lumbar, renal, and associated parietal and visceral veins based upon a study of 100 specimens. Surg., Gynecol. Obstet. 107:1-22.

Douglass, B.E., Baggenenstross, A.H. and W. H. Hollinshead. (1950) The anatomy of the portal vein and its tributaries. Surg., Gynecol. Obstet. 91:562-575.

Dufour, M., Rigaud, -., Cabanie, -. and -. Gouazé. (1952) Note sur le confluent portal et le mode l'abouchment des veines coronaire stomachique et gastro-colique. Assoc. Anatomistes Comptes Rendus. 39:195-200.

Fraser, J. and A.K. Brown. (1944) A clinical syndrome associated with a rare anomaly of the vena portae system. Surg., Gynecol. Obstet. 78:520-524.

Giacomini, -. (1873) Sopra di un'ampia comunicazione tra la vene porta e le vene iliache destre. Giorn. della Accad. di Med di Torino 1873:584-620.

Gilfillan, R.S. (1950) Anatomic study of the portal vein and its main branches. Arch. Surg. 61:449-461.

Guerrier, Y. et P.E. Rapp. (1953) La veine porte extra et intrahépatique. 1. Le mode de division extra-hépatique. Assoc. Anatomistes, Comptes Rendus 40:272-274.

Hochstetter, F. (1887) über das normale Vorkommen von Klappen in den Magenverzweigungen der Pfortader beim Menschen und einigen Säugethieren. Arch. Anat. Physiol. Wissen. Med. 1887:137-142.

Knight, H.O. (1921) An anomalous portal vein and its surgical dangers. Ann. Surg. 74:697-699.

Kubota, K., Noguchi, I., Narita, M., Nakano, T. and R. Nakagawa. (1958) A case of collateral circulation between the portal and systemic veins through the left para-umbilical and left inferior epigastric vein in man. Okajimias Folia Anat. Jpn. 30:341-342.

Last, R.J. (1972) Anatomy: Regional and Applied, 5th ed. Williams & Wilkins Company, Baltimore.

Lejars, -. (1888) Un fait de suppléance de la circulation Porte par la veine rénale gauche et la veine cave. Le Progrès Médical, Series 2, 7(No. 25):479-480.

Marks, C. (1969) Developmental basis of the portal venous system. Am. J. Surg. 117:671-681.

Marois, D., van Heerden, J.A., Carpenter, H.A. and P.F. Sheedy, II. (1979) Congenital absence of the portal vein. Mayo Clinic Proc. 54:55-59.

Meniere, -. (1826) Observations relatives á une anastomose remarquable du sysème veineux général avec le système veineaux abdominal. Archives Générales de Médecine

Obel, W. (1975) Morphology of the trunk of the portal vein in man in various periods of life. Folia Morphol., Warsaw 34:85-101.

Obel, W. (1980) Initial branches of the portal vein in the developmental aspect in man. Folia Morphol., Warsaw.

Poynter, C.W.M. (1922) Congenital anomalies of the arteries and veins of the human body with bibliography. The University Studies of the University of Nebraska 22:1-106.

Retterer, é. (1894) De l'histoire des rapports de l'artère hépatique et de la veine porte. J. de l'Anatomie et de la Physiol. Normales et Pathologiques de l'Homme et des Animaux 33:133-140.

Sperino, G. (1879) Nuove anastomosi tra il sistema della vena Porta ed il sistema venoso generale. Giornale della Accademia di Medicina di Torino 26:116-125.

Thompson, W.H. (1890) Formation of the portal vein. Collective investigation in the anatomical department of Trinity college, Dublin. Transactions - Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 8:516-519.

Wermuth, E.G. (1939) Anastomoses between the rectal and uterine veins forming a connexion between the somatic and portal venous system in the recto-uterine pouch. J. Anat. 74:116-126.

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