Q:

What is the hepatic vein?

A:

Quick Answer

Hepatic veins are blood vessels that carry the liver’s deoxygenated blood to the inferior vena cava. They also transport blood that has been drained from the stomach, small intestine, colon and the pancreas, which has been cleaned by the liver.

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Full Answer

Hepatic veins originate from the central vein of the liver lobule, and they do not have valves. These veins are divided into two groups: the upper group veins and the lower group veins. The upper group veins arise from the posterior part of the liver and drain the left lobe and quadrate lobe, and they are three in number. The lower group veins originate from the right lobe and caudate lobe, and they are more in number and smaller than the upper-group veins.

The deoxygenated blood transported from these veins into the inferior vena cava is taken back to the heart, where the blood is re-oxygenated. The liver acts as a cleaning organ when the blood travels back to the heart. Any closure or blockage of the hepatic veins results in a condition known as Budd-Chiari syndrome. Thrombosis of the hepatic veins is another example of a problem caused by the blockage of these veins. This condition is associated with the use of oral contraceptives, pregnancy and lupus anticoagulants.

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