Hi, everyone. This is Matt from Kenhub! And in this tutorial, we will discuss the pulmonary veins, their location, and their function.
The topic is fairly simple and straightforward with one very important exception. The exception is that, any other time we use the term vein, we’re discussing a vessel that carries deoxygenated blood. But in the case of the pulmonary veins, they are carrying oxygenated blood.
There are four pulmonary veins in total, two connected with each lung. The right pulmonary veins, seen here from a posterior view, carry blood from the right lung into the left atrium of the heart where it is distributed to the rest of the circulatory system. They are the right inferior pulmonary vein and the right superior pulmonary vein.
The left pulmonary veins carry blood from the left lung into the left atrium of the heart where it continues to flow outward to the rest of the body. The two left pulmonary veins are also named for their location: the left inferior pulmonary vein and the left superior pulmonary vein.
Here’s one way to remember. All veins carry blood to the heart, and all arteries carry blood away from the heart, right? Well, it’s the same here except that the pulmonary veins carry blood to the heart from the lungs, so it’s oxygenated. When you hear the term pulmonary vein, think of it as self-describing. Think lung to heart. And that should help jog the memory.