Superior mesenteric vein

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Superior mesenteric vein
The abdomen viewed from the front, showing the portal venous system, showing the superior mesenteric vein and its tributaries. (Lienal vein is an old term for splenic vein.)
SystemHepatic portal system
Drains tohepatic portal vein
Arterysuperior mesenteric artery
Latinvena mesenterica superior
Anatomical terminology

The superior mesenteric vein is a blood vessel that drains blood from the small intestine (jejunum and ileum). Behind the neck of the pancreas, the superior mesenteric vein combines with the splenic vein to form the hepatic portal vein. The superior mesenteric vein lies to the right of the similarly named artery, the superior mesenteric artery, which originates from the abdominal aorta.


Tributaries of the superior mesenteric vein drain the small intestine, large intestine, stomach, pancreas and appendix and include:

The superior mesenteric vein combines with the splenic vein to form the portal vein.[1][2]

Clinical significance[edit]

Thrombosis of the superior mesenteric vein is quite rare, but a significant cause of mesenteric ischemia and can be fatal. It is estimated that 10–15% of mesenteric ischemia is due to mesenteric thrombosis.[3]


  1. ^ "Diagnostic angiography in hepatobiliary and pancreatic disease: Indications". Blumgart's Surgery of the Liver, Biliary Tract and Pancreas, 2-Volume Set: 392–402.e1. 2017-01-01. doi:10.1016/B978-0-323-34062-5.00021-2.
  2. ^ Comar, Kevin M.; Sanyal, Arun J. (2004-01-01), Johnson, Leonard R. (ed.), "Portal Hypertension and Esophageal Varices", Encyclopedia of Gastroenterology, New York: Elsevier, pp. 212–219, ISBN 978-0-12-386860-2, retrieved 2021-01-24
  3. ^ Tessier, DJ; Williams, RA (2020-12-05). "Acute Mesenteric Ischemia: Background, Anatomy, Pathophysiology" – via eMedicine. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

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