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Superior vena cava

Other Terms: Anterior vena cava, Vena cava superior, Veine cave supérieure


The superior vena cava is 6 1/4 to 7 1/2 cm (2 1/2 to 3 inches) in length and has no valves. It is formed by the union of the right and left brachiocephalic veins, which unite at nearly right angles, behind the lower border of the first costal cartilage on the right. Just before entering the upper part of the right atrium, the azygos vein joins it. The superior vena cava descends vertically and returns deoxygenated blood from the head, neck, upper part of the thorax, and upper limbs to the heart.


Vena cava superior


Veine cave supérieure


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