Pulmonary vein

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Pulmonary Veins
Right ventricle Left ventricle Aortic valve Mitral valve Left atrium Right atrium Aorta Pulmonary valve Tricuspid valve Inferior vena cava Superior vena cava Pulmonary artery Pulmonary veinDiagram of the human heart (cropped).svg
About this image
Alveoli diagram.png
Diagram of the alveoli with both cross-section and external view.
Latin venae pulmonales
Precursor truncus arteriosus
Drains from
Drains to
left atrium
pulmonary artery
Gray's p.642
MeSH A07.231.908.713
TA A12.3.02.001
FMA 70827
Anatomical terminology

The pulmonary veins are large blood vessels that receive oxygenated blood from the lungs and drain into the left atrium of the heart. There are four pulmonary veins, two from each lung. The pulmonary veins are among the few veins that carry oxygenated blood.


Two pulmonary veins emerge from each lung hilum, receiving blood from three or four bronchial veins apiece and draining into the left atrium. An inferior and superior vein drains each lung, so there are four veins in total.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page).



The pulmonary veins play an essential role in respiration, by receiving blood that has been oxygenated in the alveoli.

Clinical significance[edit]

As part of the pulmonary circulation they carry oxygenated blood back to the heart, as opposed to the veins of the systemic circulation which carry deoxygenated blood.

When the pulmonary veins drain into the systemic circulation in whole or in part, this is known as a total anomalous pulmonary venous circulation or partial anomalous pulmonary circulation, respectively.

Additional images[edit]


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

See also[edit]

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see anatomical terminology.

External links[edit]