QS Study

The inferior vena cava is a large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower and middle body into the right atrium of the heart.


The inferior vena cava is formed by the union of the right and left common iliac veins on the right side of the body of vertebra L5. It is formed by the joining of the right and the left common iliac veins, usually at the level of the fifth lumbar vertebra. It is located on the posterior abdominal wall in the retroperitoneal space of the abdomen.


After formation, it ascends in front of the vertebral column, on the right side of the aorta, and the posterior surface of the liver pierces the central tendon of the diaphragm at the level of vertebra T8 and opens into the lower posterior part of the right atrium. Running on its right-hand side is the right sympathetic trunk and right ureter. Because it is situated to the right of the midline, left-sided veins are longer than their equivalents coming from the right, as they have further to travel.

Fig: Inferior Vena Cava


  1. The common iliac veins.
  2. The third and fourth lumbar veins.
  3. The right testicular or ovarian vein.
  4. The renal veins.
  5. The right suprarenal vein.
  6. The hepatic veins.


Hepatic segment: Connection between sub cardinal and right vitelline vein.

Renal segment: Right subcostal vein upto its connection with the right sacrocardinal vein.

Post-renal segment: Right sacrocardinal vein upto sacrocardinal anastomosis.

Normal IVC has a complex embryological development with many embryological veins contributing to different parts:

  • right subcardinal vein: forms suprarenal segment
  • right subsupracardinal anastomosis: forms the renal segment
  • right supracardinal vein: forms an infrarenal segment.
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