UAMS - Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences - Veins of the Abdomen

Gross Anatomy


NOTE: Many veins follow the branching and distribution pattern of the artery of the same name. This table contains veins that do not travel with an artery of the same name, or that run an independent course from the artery of the same name. See also: Artery Tables.



Selected Veins of the Abdomen - Listed Alphabetically

Vein Tributaries Drains Into Regions Drained Notes
anterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal v. numerous unnamed tributaries from the duodenum and pancreas inferior pancreaticoduodenal v. anterior part of the head of the pancreas; anterior aspect of the 1st and 2nd parts of the duodenum anterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal v. connects with the anterior superior pancreaticoduodenal v
anterior superior pancreaticoduodenal v. numerous unnamed tributaries from the duodenum and pancreas right gastro-omental v. anterior part of the head of the pancreas; anterior aspect of the 1st and 2nd parts of the duodenum anterior superior pancreaticoduodenal v. connects with the anterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal v
ascending lumbar v. lumbar vv. 1-4 right: azygos v.; left: hemiazygos v. posterior abdominal wall ascending lumbar v. connects adjacent lumbar vv.
azygos v. formed by the union of the ascending lumbar v. and the subcostal v.; tributaries: posterior intercostal vv. 11-2 (right superior intercostal), hemiazygos v., accessory hemiazygos v., esophageal v., right bronchial v. posterior surface of the superior vena cava lateral and posterior walls of the abdomen and chest; esophagus; bronchial tree may connect with the inferior vena cava; arch of azygos passes superior to the root of the lung
cystic v. veins of the gall bladder and common bile duct directly into the liver at the bed of the gall bladder gall bladder these multiple small vs. drain the gall bladder and cystic duct directly into the liver
esophageal v. tributaries are unnamed azygos v.; hemiazygos v. esophagus esophageal vv. connect with the esophageal brs. of the left gastric, forming a potential portal-caval venous anastomosis (esophageal varices when enlarged)
gastric, left esophageal vv.; gastric brs. portal v. lesser curvature of the stomach, lower part of the esophagus left gastric v. communicates with the esophageal vv., forming a portal-caval venous anastomosis (esophageal varices when enlarged); the left gastric v. and right gastric v. are together called the coronary v. because they form a circle
gastric, right gastric brs. portal v. lesser curvature of the stomach the left gastric v. and right gastric v. are together called the coronary v. because they form a circle
gastro-omental, left gastric brs., omental brs. splenic v. greater curvature of the stomach and the greater omentum also known as: left gastroepiploic v.
gastro-omental, right gastric brs., omental brs. superior mesenteric v. greater curvature of the stomach and the greater omentum also known as: right gastroepiploic v.
hepatic, left segmental vv. inferior vena cava entire lateral segment of the left lobe of the liver; superior portion of the medial segment of the left lobe of the liver the lumen of the left hepatic v. is clearly visible within the portion of the inferior vena cave that passes through the liver
hepatic, middle segmental vv. inferior vena cava inferior portion of the medial segment of the left lobe of the liver; inferior part of the anterior segment of the right lobe of the liver the lumen of the middle hepatic v. is clearly visible within the portion of the inferior vena cave that passes through the liver
hepatic, right segmental vv. inferior vena cava superior portion of the anterior segment of the right lobe of the liver; entire posterior segment of the liver the lumen of the right hepatic v. is clearly visible within the portion of the inferior vena cave that passes through the liver
inferior mesenteric v. superior rectal v., sigmoid v., left colic v. splenic v. (or the junction of the splenic v. and superior mesenteric v.) gut from the left colic flexure distally (hindgut derivatives) when the inferior mesenteric v.joins the splenic v., it courses lateral to the 4th part of the duodenum
inferior pancreaticoduodenal v. anterior inferior and posterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal vv. superior mesenteric v. lower part of duodenum & head of pancreas connects with anterior & posterior superior pancreaticoduodenal vv.
inferior phrenic v. unnamed tributaries from the respiratory diaphragm right: inferior vena cava; left: left suprarenal v. or inferior vena cava diaphragm left inferior phrenic v. may be paired
inferior vena cava formed by the union of the paired common iliac vv; tributaries: lumbar vv. 1-4, right ovarian/testicular v., renal vv., right suprarenal v., right inferior phrenic v., hepatic vv. right atrium all of the body below the level of the respiratory diaphragm the inferior vena cava is longer than the abdominal aorta
intercostal, posterior lateral cutaneous br. 1st: brachiocephalic v.; 2nd-4th: superior intercostal v.; right 5th-11th: azygos v.; left 5th-7th or 8th: accessory hemiazygos v.; left 9th-11th: hemiazygos v. intercostal space including skin, muscles and adjacent ribs; the spinal cord at that segmental level and the corresponding vertebra the difference in termination of the intercostal vv. of the left and right sides is explained by the embryonic origin of the azygos system from the (originally symmetrical) supracardinal vv.
left gastric v. esophageal vv.; gastric brs. portal v. lesser curvature of the stomach, lower part of the esophagus left gastric v. communicates with the esophageal vv., forming a portal-caval venous anastomosis (esophageal varices when enlarged); the left gastric v. and right gastric v. are together called the coronary v. because they form a circle
left gastro-omental v. gastric brs., omental brs. splenic v. greater curvature of the stomach and the greater omentum also known as: left gastroepiploic v.
left hepatic v. segmental vv. inferior vena cava entire lateral segment of the left lobe of the liver; superior portion of the medial segment of the left lobe of the liver the lumen of the left hepatic v. is clearly visible within the portion of the inferior vena cave that passes through the liver
left renal v. left ovarian/testicular v., left suprarenal v., sometime the left inferior phrenic v. inferior vena cava left ovary/testis; left ureter; left kidney; left suprarenal gland; left part of the respiratory diaphragm left renal v. crosses the abdominal aorta under the origin of the superior mesenteric a., creating a site of potential compression of the left renal vein
lumbar, ascending lumbar vv. 1-4 right: azygos v.; left: hemiazygos v. posterior abdominal wall ascending lumbar v. connects adjacent lumbar vv.
mesenteric, inferior superior rectal v., sigmoid v., left colic v. splenic v. (or the junction of the splenic v. and superior mesenteric v.) gut from the left colic flexure distally (hindgut derivatives) when the inferior mesenteric v.joins the splenic v., it courses lateral to the 4th part of the duodenum
middle hepatic v. segmental vv. inferior vena cava inferior portion of the medial segment of the left lobe of the liver; inferior part of the anterior segment of the right lobe of the liver the lumen of the middle hepatic v. is clearly visible within the portion of the inferior vena cave that passes through the liver
pancreaticoduodenal, anterior inferior numerous unnamed tributaries from the duodenum and pancreas inferior pancreaticoduodenal v. anterior part of the head of the pancreas; anterior aspect of the 1st and 2nd parts of the duodenum anterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal v. connects with the anterior superior pancreaticoduodenal v
pancreaticoduodenal, anterior superior numerous unnamed tributaries from the duodenum and pancreas right gastro-omental v. anterior part of the head of the pancreas; anterior aspect of the 1st and 2nd parts of the duodenum anterior superior pancreaticoduodenal v. connects with the anterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal v
pancreaticoduodenal, inferior anterior inferior and posterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal vv. superior mesenteric v. lower part of duodenum & head of pancreas connects with anterior & posterior superior pancreaticoduodenal vv.
pancreaticoduodenal, posterior inferior numerous unnamed tributaries from the duodenum and pancreas inferior pancreaticoduodenal v. posterior part of the head of the pancreas; posterior aspect of the 1st and 2nd parts of the duodenum posterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal v. connects with the posterior superior pancreaticoduodenal v
pancreaticoduodenal, posterior superior numerous unnamed tributaries from the duodenum and pancreas portal v. posterior part of the head of the pancreas; posterior aspect of the 1st and 2nd parts of the duodenum posterior superior pancreaticoduodenal v. connects with the posterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal v.
paraumbilical v. unnamed tributaries from the superficial fascia of the anterior abdominal wall umbilical part of left branch of portal vein falciform ligament, round ligament of the liver paraumbilical v. represents a potential site of portal-caval anastomosis; blood may pass retrogradely into the anterior body wall veins near the umbilicus, creating caput medusa clinical sign
phrenic, inferior unnamed tributaries from the respiratory diaphragm right: inferior vena cava; left: left suprarenal v. or inferior vena cava diaphragm left inferior phrenic v. may be paired
plexus, rectal venous no named tributaries superior, middle & inferior rectal vv. rectum and anal canal; anus rectal venous plexus is a site of portal-caval anastomosis
portal v. formed by the union of the superior mesenteric v. and the splenic v.; tributaries: posterior superior pancreaticoduodenal v., right gastric v., left gastric v. divides into right and left branches before entering the liver; into the liver sinusoids all of the gut and its glands portal v. connects with the vena caval drainage at 1) esophagus, 2) rectum, 3) umbilicus, 4) retroperitoneal gut structures; portal v. courses between two capillary beds (gut and liver)
posterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal v. numerous unnamed tributaries from the duodenum and pancreas inferior pancreaticoduodenal v. posterior part of the head of the pancreas; posterior aspect of the 1st and 2nd parts of the duodenum posterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal v. connects with the posterior superior pancreaticoduodenal v
posterior intercostal v. lateral cutaneous br. 1st: brachiocephalic v.; 2nd-4th: superior intercostal v.; right 5th-11th: azygos v.; left 5th-7th or 8th: accessory hemiazygos v.; left 9th-11th: hemiazygos v. intercostal space including skin, muscles and adjacent ribs; the spinal cord at that segmental level and the corresponding vertebra the difference in termination of the intercostal vv. of the left and right sides is explained by the embryonic origin of the azygos system from the (originally symmetrical) supracardinal vv.
posterior superior pancreaticoduodenal v. numerous unnamed tributaries from the duodenum and pancreas portal v. posterior part of the head of the pancreas; posterior aspect of the 1st and 2nd parts of the duodenum posterior superior pancreaticoduodenal v. connects with the posterior inferior pancreaticoduodenal v.
rectal venous plexus no named tributaries superior, middle & inferior rectal vv. rectum and anal canal; anus rectal venous plexus is a site of portal-caval anastomosis
renal, left left ovarian/testicular v., left suprarenal v., sometime the left inferior phrenic v. inferior vena cava left ovary/testis; left ureter; left kidney; left suprarenal gland; left part of the respiratory diaphragm left renal v. crosses the abdominal aorta under the origin of the superior mesenteric a., creating a site of potential compression of the left renal vein
renal, right multiple tributaries exit the kidney inferior vena cava right kidney right renal v. is shorter than the left renal v.
right gastric v. gastric brs. portal v. lesser curvature of the stomach the left gastric v. and right gastric v. are together called the coronary v. because they form a circle
right gastro-omental v. gastric brs., omental brs. superior mesenteric v. greater curvature of the stomach and the greater omentum also known as: right gastroepiploic v.
right hepatic v. segmental vv. inferior vena cava superior portion of the anterior segment of the right lobe of the liver; entire posterior segment of the liver the lumen of the right hepatic v. is clearly visible within the portion of the inferior vena cave that passes through the liver
right renal v. multiple tributaries exit the kidney inferior vena cava right kidney right renal v. is shorter than the left renal v.
splenic v. proper splenic vv. portal v. spleen multiple proper splenic vv. emerge from the hilum of the spleen and join to form the splenic v.
superior mesenteric v. ileocolic v., intestinal vv., right colic v., middle colic v., inferior pancreaticoduodenal v., right gastro-epiploic v. portal v. gut from the duodenum to the left colic flexure (midgut derivatives) superior mesenteric v. joins the splenic v. to form the portal v.
suprarenal v. no named tributaries left: left renal v.; right: inferior vena cava suprarenal gland left suprarenal v. is usually joined by the left inferior phrenic v.; also known as: central v. of the suprarenal
testicular v. pampiniform plexus left: left renal v.; right: inferior vena cava testis, ureter left testicular v. is longer than the right testicular v.
thoracoepigastric v. numerous vv. of the superficial fascia lateral thoracic v. skin and superficial fascia of the anterolateral body wall thoracoepigastric v. connects the superficial circumflex iliac v. and the superficial epigastric v. - it can serve as collateral drainage when the inferior vena cava is blocked
vena cava, inferior formed by the union of the paired common iliac vv; tributaries: lumbar vv. 1-4, right ovarian/testicular v., renal vv., right suprarenal v., right inferior phrenic v., hepatic vv. right atrium all of the body below the level of the respiratory diaphragm the inferior vena cava is longer than the abdominal aorta
vena cava, superior formed by the union of the paired brachiocephalic vv.; tributary: azygos arch right atrium all of the body above the level of the diaphragm except for those regions drained by the pulmonary vv. and coronary vv. superior vena cava is formed posterior to the first costal cartilage on the right side


Some of the material presented in these tables is contained in the book:
MedCharts Anatomy by Thomas R. Gest and Jaye Schlesinger
Published by ILOC, Inc., New York. Copyright 1995.

Content of these tables has been edited for use in this course by Patrick W. Tank, Ph.D.
Copyright 2009, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Unauthorized use is prohibited.