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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Human Anatomy in Cross Section: Topography of the Thorax and Abdomen

Atlas of Human Anatomy in Cross Section: Appendix: Topography of the Thorax and Abdomen

Inferior Vena Cava

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Jean J. Jew, M.D., and Paul C. Reimann, B.S.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed


Formation

According to Eycleshymer and Schoemaker, the formation of the inferior vena cava varies from the fourth lumbar disk to the lower third of the fifth lumbar vertebra, with the average position at the level of the middle third of the fifth lumbar vertebra. Langer and Toldt find it at the level of the fourth lumbar vertebra; Corning, at the level of the lower part of the fourth lumbar vertebra or the fourth lumbar disk; and Joessel, at the level of the fourth disk. Poirier and Charpy and Piersol place it at the fourth disk or the fifth lumbar vertebra, and Cunningham and Morris put it at the fifth lumbar vertebra. The present study places it at the fourth lumbar disk or the upper third of the fifth lumbar vertebra.

Cardiac Orifice

Eycleshymer and Schoemaker found that the cardiac orifice of the inferior vena cava varies from the seventh thoracic disk to the lower third of the tenth thoracic vertebra, with the average position being at the level of the lower third of the ninth thoracic vertebra. Poirier and Charpy and Morris place it at the level of the ninth thoracic vertebra and Cunningham, at the level of the seventh thoracic spine.

With reference to the anterior thoracic wall, it lies opposite the sternal end of the fourth right intercostal space.

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