Inferior Vena cava

INTRODUCTION:
  • The inferior vena cava (or IVC) is a large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower and middle body into the right atrium of the heart.
  • It is formed by the joining of the right and the left common iliac veins, usually at the level of the fifth lumbar vertebra.
  • The inferior vena cava is the lower ("inferior") of the two venae cavae, the two large veins that carry deoxygenated blood from the body: the inferior vena cava carries blood from the lower half of the body whilst the superior vena cava carries blood from the upper half of the body.
  • Posterior Relation of epiploic foramen is Inferior vena cava
  • It is a large retroperitoneal vein that lies posterior to the abdominal cavity and runs along the right side of the vertebral column.
  • Inferior vena cava is formed from vitelline vein
  • Supra cardinal & Subcardinal veins are important structures in development of inferior vena cava
  • It enters the right atrium at the lower right, back side of the heart.
STRUCTURES:
  • The inferior vena cava is formed by the joining of the left and right common iliac veins and brings collected blood into the right atrium of the heart.
  • It also joins with the azygos vein(which runs on the right side of the vertebral column) and venous plexuses next to the spinal cord.
  • The inferior vena cava begins as the left and right common iliac veins behind the abdomenunite, at about the level of L5.
  • It passes through the thoracic diaphragm at the caval opening at the level of T8.
  • Ligamentum Venosum connects inferior vena cava to the left branch of the portal vein.
TRIBUTARIES:
  • The specific levels of the tributaries are as follows:

Level Vein
T8 hepatic veins, inferior phrenic vein
L1 right suprarenal vein, renal veins
L2 right gonadal vein
L1–L5 lumbar veins
L5 common iliac veins

FUNCTIONS

  • The inferior vena cava is a vein. It carries deoxygenated blood from the lower half of the body to the right atrium of the heart.[2]
  • The corresponding vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the upper half of the body is the superior vena cava.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE:
  • Since the inferior vena cava is primarily a right-sided structure, unconscious pregnant women should be turned on to their left side (the recovery position), to relieve
  • pressure on it and facilitate venous return .
  • In rare cases, straining associated with defecation can lead to restricted blood flow through the IVC and result in syncope (fainting).
  • Blockage of the inferior vena cava is rare, and is treated urgently as a life-threatening condition. It is associated with deep vein thrombosis, IVC filters, liver
  • transplantation and surgical procedures such as the insertion of a catheter in the femoral vein in the groin.
  • Trauma to the vena cava can also be life-threatening as excessive blood loss may occur.
Exam Question
  •  Ligamentum Venosum connects inferior vena cava to the left branch of the portal vein.
  • Posterior Relation of epiploic foramen is Inferior vena cava
  • The tributaries of the inferior vena cava include hepatic veins, inferior phrenic vein, right suprarenal vein, renal veins, right gonadal vein, lumbar veins, common iliac vein Inferior vena cava is formed from vitelline vein
  • Supra cardinal & Subcardinal veins are important structures in development of inferior vena cava
  • The right suprarenal vein drains into the Inferior vena cava
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