The superior vena cava is an important vein
that drains deoxygenated blood from
the head, neck, thorax, and arms.
It is a short trunk vein (approx. 62mm to 75mm in length) formed
by the junction of the two innominate veins - which are also known as
veins", and are located on each side of the neck.
The superior vena cava
begins from a position close to the sternum, just below the cartilage
of the first rib. It descends vertically and enters the pericardium (a
sac that surrounds and protects the heart) from above.
This vein, together with the inferior
vena cava, delivers deoxygenated
blood collected from from all of the
veins throughout the body to the right
atrium of the heart.
These veins may be referred to as vena
cava, or collectively
using the pural form of "vena cava", which is "venae
To view a diagram showing the positions of the superior vena cava and
the inferior vena cava in relative to the positions of other major veis
and arteries, visit the page about Systemic