Superior mesenteric vein

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Superior mesenteric vein
The portal vein and its tributaries. The superior mesenteric vein and splenic vein. Lienal vein is an old term for splenic vein. Anatomical position.
The pancreas and duodenum from behind.
Drains to hepatic portal vein
Artery superior mesenteric artery
Latin vena mesenterica superior
TA A12.3.12.018
FMA 14332
Anatomical terminology

The superior mesenteric vein (SMV) is a blood vessel that drains blood from the small intestine (jejunum and ileum). At its termination behind the neck of the pancreas, the SMV combines with the splenic vein to form the hepatic portal vein. The SMV lies to the anatomical 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:


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.[1]


  1. ^ Tessier DJ, Williams RA, Mesenteric ischemic thrombosis, eMedicine, URL:, Accessed July 30, 2005.

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