Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vena Cava

Anterior vena cava: locate the trunk of this systemic vein above the heart. In the pig the term anterior vena cava is more correct and therefore preferred to superior vena cava. All anterior veins lead into it.

Posterior vena cava: This is the major vein returning blood from the lower extremities and from the abdominal area. Again, this designation in the pig is preferred to inferior vena cava. It can clearly be seen rising from the diaphragm, which it has penetrated, to enter the heart at the right atrium together with the superior vena cave.

Anterior to the heart, you can locate a large vein that enters the right atrium. This vein is the anterior vena cava, which brings blood to the right atrium from the anterior part of the body. Now lift the heart to view its dorsal surface. To do this you must use your scissors to carefully cute through all the major arteries attaching the heart to the mediastinum and then removing the heart with your hands to observe the posterior vena cava that carries blood from the posterior part of the body and empties it into the right atrium.

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