Pulmonary vein
The pulmonary veins are large blood vessel
Blood vessel
The blood vessels are the part of the circulatory system that transports blood throughout the body. There are three major types of blood vessels: the arteries, which carry the blood away from the heart; the capillaries, which enable the actual exchange of water and chemicals between the blood and...

s that carry blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 from the lung
The lung is the essential respiration organ in many air-breathing animals, including most tetrapods, a few fish and a few snails. In mammals and the more complex life forms, the two lungs are located near the backbone on either side of the heart...

s to the left atrium
Atrium (anatomy)
In anatomy, the atrium , sometimes called auricle , refers to a chamber or space. For example, the term is used for a portion of the lateral ventricle in the brain and the blood collection chamber of the heart...

 of the heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

. In humans there are four pulmonary veins, two from each lung. They carry oxygenated
Oxygenation (medical)
Oxygenation occurs when oxygen molecules enter the tissues of the body. For example, blood is oxygenated in the lungs, where oxygen molecules travel from the air and into the blood...

 blood, which is unusual since almost all other veins carry deoxygenated blood.


Occasionally the three veins on the right side remain separate, and not infrequently the two left pulmonary veins end by a common opening into the left atrium. Therefore, the number of pulmonary veins opening into the left atrium can vary between three and five in the healthy population.

At the root of the lung, the superior pulmonary vein lies in front of and a little below the pulmonary artery; the inferior is situated at the lowest part of the hilus of the lung
Hilum of lung
Above and behind the cardiac impression is a triangular depression named the hilum, where the structures which form the root of the lung enter and leave the viscus. These include the pulmonary artery, superiormost on the left lung, the superior and inferior pulmonary veins, lymphatic vessels and...

 and on a plane posterior to the upper vein. Behind the pulmonary artery is the bronchus
A bronchus is a passage of airway in the respiratory tract that conducts air into the lungs. The bronchus branches into smaller tubes, which in turn become bronchioles....


Within the pericardium
The pericardium is a double-walled sac that contains the heart and the roots of the great vessels.-Layers:...

, their anterior surfaces are invested by the serous layer of this membrane.

The right pulmonary veins pass behind the right atrium
Right atrium
The right atrium is one of four chambers in the hearts of mammals and archosaurs...

 and superior vena cava
Superior vena cava
The superior vena cava is truly superior, a large diameter, yet short, vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the upper half of the body to the heart's right atrium...

; the left in front of the descending thoracic aorta
Thoracic aorta
The thoracic aorta is contained in the posterior mediastinal cavity.It begins at the lower border of the fourth thoracic vertebra where it is continuous with the aortic arch, and ends in front of the lower border of the twelfth thoracic vertebra, at the aortic hiatus in the diaphragm where it...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.