Functions and Anatomy of the Inferior Vena Cava

The functions and anatomy of the inferior vena cava can be seen from its placement within the body and the cardiovascular system. The inferior vena cava is a vein in your body which carries blood from the lower extremities and the bottom half of the body to the heart.

The function of the inferior vena cava is carrying de-oxygenated blood, also known as dark blood, which is blood that has had all oxygen removed from it and has a dark bluish purple color. The anatomy of the inferior vena cava can be seen in the picture below.

De-oxygenated blood is carried from the legs and lower torso, and is emptied from the inferior vena cava into the right atrium of the heart, which is located on the lower posterior (back) side of the heart. Once the blood has been re-oxygenated, this bright red, oxygen-rich blood will be returned to the lower body through the descending aorta. In this way, the inferior vena cava helps the body control its blood flow and oxygen levels by moving blood from the lower body to the heart for oxygen exchange.

Where is the inferior vena cava

Functions and Anatomy of Interior Vena CavaThe inferior vena cava runs posterior in the body, behind the heart and into the abdominal cavity, with many branches throughout the entire body that take deoxygenated blood away from the cells so that they can carry out the processes needed to keep the body alive. The inferior vena cava runs along the vertebral bodies in the spine, and is formed by the joining of two leg veins in the lower body which fuse together in the vertebrae to form the inferior vena cava and continue up to the heart. These leg veins are called the iliac veins; the two branches join together and meet to form the inferior vena cava.

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