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Left Superior Phrenic Vein
Cardiovascular System

Left Superior Phrenic Vein

Vena phrenica superior sinistra

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Quick Facts

Origin: Union of small tributaries.

Course: Along superior surface of respiratory diaphragm.

Tributaries: None.

Drainage: Superior surface of diaphragm.

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The superior phrenic veins are formed by the union of small venules on the superior surface of the respiratory diaphragm.


The superior phrenic veins course along the superior surface of the respiratory diaphragm and are accompanied by the superior phrenic arteries. They descend posteriorly to unite with the hemiazygos and azygos veins.


There are no named tributaries; however, they do form an anastomosis with the musculophrenic and pericardiacophrenic veins to ensure constant drainage of the diaphragm.

Structures Drained

The superior phrenic veins drain the vertebral portion of the respiratory diaphragm.

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A venous sinus is a vein with a thin wall of endothelium that is devoid of smooth muscle to regulate its diameter.

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Complete Anatomy