Sinus venosus

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This article is on an embryological structure. For the heart defect of the same name, please see atrial septal defect.
Sinus venosus
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Interior of dorsal half of heart from a human embryo of about thirty days, frontal view. (Opening of sinus venosus labeled at center top.)
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Human embryo with heart and anterior body-wall removed to show the sinus venosus and its tributaries. (Sinus venosus labeled at center left.)
Latin sinus venosus cordis
Gray's p.528
Carnegie stage 9
Code TE E5.11.1.3.2.0.4;
E.5.11.1.5.1.0.1

The sinus venosus is a large quadrangular cavity which precedes the atrium on the venous side of the chordate heart. In mammals, it exists distinctly only in the embryonic heart (where it is found between the two venae cavae); in nonmammalian chordates, however, the sinus venosus persists in the adult. In the adult, it is incorporated into the wall of the right atrium to form a smooth part called the sinus venarum, also known as the venarum sinus, which is separated from the rest of the atrium by a ridge of fibres called the crista terminalis. The sinus venosus also forms the SA node and the coronary sinus.

In the embryo, the thin walls of the sinus venosus are connected below with the right ventricle, and medially with the left atrium, but are free in the rest of their extent. It receives blood from the vitelline vein, umbilical vein and common cardinal vein.

It originally starts as a paired structure but shifts towards associating only with the right atrium as the embryonic heart develops. The left portion shrinks in size and eventually forms the coronary sinus (right atrium) and oblique vein of the left atrium, whereas the right part becomes incorporated into the right atrium to form the sinus venarum.

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