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Pulmonary veins

Recommended video: Pulmonary veins [02:11]
Anatomy and function of the right and left pulmonary veins.

The pulmonary veins are large valveless vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart. These veins are unique in that, unlike other veins of the body which transport deoxygenated blood, the pulmonary veins carry oxygenated blood.

They typically consist of four individual veins, with two arising from the hilum of each lung, a superior pulmonary vein and an inferior pulmonary vein. From their origin, they course medially, anterior to the descending thoracic aorta and through the pericardial sac to enter the superior aspect of the left atrium on its smooth posterior wall.

The pulmonary veins are formed from lobar veins which receive intra- and intersegmental veins within the lung parenchyma as tributaries.

Terminology English: Pulmonary veins
Latin:
 Venae pulmonales
Definition Large vessels that return oxygen-rich blood to the left atrium following gaseous exchange in the lungs.

Learn more about the cardiovascular system with the following study unit:

Pulmonary veins: want to learn more about it?

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