Diseases

Vena cava

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The upper and lower vena cava (Vena cava superior, inferior vena cava) are the two largest veins in the human body. They collect oxygen-poor blood from the body periphery and direct it back to the heart, more specifically to the right atrium. Here you will learn everything important about the paired vena cava!

ArtikelübersichtHohlvene

  • What is the vena cava?
  • Upper vena cava
  • Lower vena cava
  • Central Venous Catheter (ZVK)
  • Diseases around the vena cava

What is the vena cava?

The upper and lower vena cava (superior vena cava and inferior v. C.), With a diameter of about two centimeters, are among the thickest veins in the body. They have - unlike the veins of the extremities - no venous valves, which prevent a reflux of the blood. The two veins carry low-oxygen, carbon dioxide-rich blood from the body periphery back to the right heart, from where it is pumped further into the lungs to absorb new oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

The name vena cava is due to the fact that the central veins in a corpse do not contain any blood, so inside are hollow (lat .: cava).

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Upper vena cava

The superior vena cava (vena cava superior) collects venous, deoxygenated blood from the veins of the head and neck and upper extremities and returns it to the heart. It is about five to six inches long and runs along the right edge of the breastbone.

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