Main veins

The major veins of the body are the superior and inferior vena cava which convey deoxygenated blood from the other veins to the right atrium of the heart.

• The inferior vena cava is formed by the joining of the right and left iliac veins. It receives blood from the lower parts of the body below the diaphragm.

• The superior vena cava originates at the junction of the two innominate (brachiocephalic) veins. It drains blood from the upper parts of the body (head, neck, thorax and arms).

Like arteries, veins are also named for their locations and have two branches (right and left). Veins are more superficially placed than arteries.

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