Inferior vena cava
The inferior vena cava is formed by the junction of the two common iliac veins (veins of the legs) where they join on the right-hand side of the 5th lumbar vertebra. The inferior vena cava then passes vertically upwards along the front of the spine, to the right-hand side of the aorta. It then passes through the central tendon of the diaphragm into the pericardium (a sac that surrounds and protects the heart).
These veins may be referred to as vena cava, or collectively using the pural form of "vena cava", which is "venae cavae".
For a diagram of the positions of the inferior vena cava and the superior vena cava in relation to the positions of other major veins and arteries, see systemic circulation.
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- The Structure of the Heart
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- Systemic Circulation (i.e. blood flow around the body beyond the heart and lungs)
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- Heart Conditions, heart problems and disorders, both chronic and acute
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