Pulmonary vein

Infobox Vein
Latin = venae pulmonales
GraySubject = 165
GrayPage = 642 | Image
Heart diagram 250px
Caption = Anterior (frontal) view of the opened heart. White arrows indicate normal blood flow.

Caption2 = Diagram of the alveoli with both cross-section and external view.
DrainsFrom = lungs
Source =
DrainsTo = left atrium
Artery = pulmonary artery
Precursor = truncus arteriosus | MeshName = Pulmonary+Veins
MeshNumber = A07.231.908.713
DorlandsPre = v_05
DorlandsSuf = 12851530
The four pulmonary veins carry oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart. They are the only veins in the post-fetal human body that carry oxygenated (red) blood.


They are four in number, two from each lung, and are destitute of valves. They are

* right inferior
* right superior
* left inferior
* left superior


They commence in a capillary net-work upon the walls of the air sacs, where they are continuous with the capillary ramifications of the pulmonary artery, and, joining together, form one vessel for each lobule.

These vessels uniting successively, form a single trunk for each lobe, three for the right, and two for the left lung.

The vein from the middle lobe of the right lung generally unites with that from the upper lobe, so that ultimately two trunks from each lung are formed; they perforate the fibrous layer of the pericardium and open separately into the upper and back part of the left atrium.

Occasionally the three veins on the right side remain separate, and not infrequently the two left pulmonary veins end by a common opening into the left atrium. Following from this, it's true that the number of pulmonary veins opening into the left atrium can vary between three and five in the healthy population.

At the root of the lung, the superior pulmonary vein lies in front of and a little below the pulmonary artery; the inferior is situated at the lowest part of the hilus of the lung and on a plane posterior to the upper vein. Behind the pulmonary artery is the bronchus.

Within the pericardium, their anterior surfaces are invested by the serous layer of this membrane.

The right pulmonary veins pass behind the right atrium and superior vena cava; the left in front of the descending thoracic aorta.


External links

* [http://www.infomat.net/infomat/focus/health/health_curriculum/images/heart.gifIllustration at infomat.net]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pulmonary vein — One of four vessels that carry aerated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart. (The four are the right and left superior and inferior pulmonary veins). The pulmonary veins are the only veins that carry bright red oxygenated blood. * …   Medical dictionary

  • pulmonary vein — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms pulmonary vein : singular pulmonary vein plural pulmonary veins medical one of four veins (= tubes) that carry blood from your lungs to the left atrium of your heart …   English dictionary

  • pulmonary vein — noun any of four veins that carry arterial blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart (Freq. 9) • Syn: ↑vena pulmonalis • Hypernyms: ↑vein, ↑vena, ↑venous blood vessel • Hyponyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • pulmonary vein — a vein carrying oxygenated blood from the lung to the left atrium. See: pulmonary circulation …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • pulmonary vein — /pʌlmənri ˈveɪn/ (say pulmuhnree vayn) noun a vein conveying (arterial) blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart …   Australian English dictionary

  • pulmonary vein — noun Date: 1704 a valveless vein that returns oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pulmonary vein — Anat. a vein conveying oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart. See diag. under heart. [1695 1705] * * * …   Universalium

  • pulmonary vein — noun In tetrapods, the vein that returns blood to the heart after it has circulated through the lungs …   Wiktionary

  • pulmonary vein — noun a vein carrying oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart …   English new terms dictionary

  • pulmonary vein — pul′monary vein′ n. anat. one of the veins conveying oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart …   From formal English to slang

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