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Superior mesenteric vein

Vein: Superior mesenteric vein
The portal vein and its tributaries. The superior mesenteric vein and splenic vein. Leinal vein is an old term for splenic vein. Anatomical position.
The pancreas and duodenum from behind.
Latin vena mesenterica superior
Gray's subject #174 682
Drains to hepatic portal vein
Artery superior mesenteric artery
Dorlands/Elsevier v_05/12851033

In anatomy, 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 right of the similarly named artery, the superior mesenteric artery, which originates from the abdominal aorta.


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

  • Right gastro-omental vein (also known as the right gastro-epiploic vein)
  • inferior pancreaticoduodenal veins
  • veins from jejunum
  • veins from ileum
  • middle colic vein - drains the transverse colon
  • right colic vein - drains the ascending colon
  • ileocolic vein


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.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Superior_mesenteric_vein". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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