Iliac vein

The iliac veinAnatomical features of the iliac vein, its tributaries and outflow areas
~ 3 min

In this note, we will consider the anatomy, areas of blood drainage and anastomoses of the common iliac vein.

The common iliac vein (vv. iliacae communes) is a large paired valveless vein.

Common iliac vein (v. iliaca communis sinistra)
Common iliac vein (v. iliaca communis sinistra)
Common iliac vein (right) (v. iliaca communis dextra)
Common iliac vein (right) (v. iliaca communis dextra)

It is located parallel to the artery of the same name on the right and left at the level of the fifth lumbar vertebra, the promontory of the sacrum and the iliolumbar ligament.

The left common iliac artery is slightly longer, as it partially passes behind the right common iliac artery and aorta and merges with the right common iliac vein into the inferior vena cava (v. cava superior) at this level.

Inferior vena cava (v. cava inferior)
Inferior vena cava (v. cava inferior)

Both common iliac veins are formed by the confluence of the internal iliac vein (v. iliaca interna) and the external iliac vein (v. iliaca externa) in the area of the internal surface of the sacrum.

Internal iliac vein (v. iliaca interna)
Internal iliac vein (v. iliaca interna)

The common iliac vein drains venous blood from the lowe imbs, pelvic organs and sacral region.

The system of the common iliac vein is formed by the veins of the lower limbs and consists of the following vessels:

  1. The external iliac vein (v. iliaca externa)

    External iliac vein (v. iliaca externa)
    External iliac vein (v. iliaca externa)
    External iliac vein (v. iliaca externa)
    External iliac vein (v. iliaca externa)
  2. The inferior epigastric vein (v. epigastrica inferior), which ends by the external iliac vein

    Inferior epigastric vein (v. epigastrica inferior)
    Inferior epigastric vein (v. epigastrica inferior)
  3. The femoral vein (v.femoralis), which also ends by the external iliac vein

    Femoral vein (v. femoralis)
    Femoral vein (v. femoralis)
  4. The internal iliac vein (v. iliaca interna), which communicates with the femoral vein through anastomosis

    Internal iliac vein (v. iliaca interna)
    Internal iliac vein (v. iliaca interna)
  5. The parietal tributaries of the internal iliac vein, which include:

  • the iliolumbar vein (v. iliolumbalis)

    Iliolumbar vein (v. iliolumbalis)
    Iliolumbar vein (v. iliolumbalis)
  • lateral sacral veins (vv. sacrales laterales)

    Lateral sacral veins (vv. sacrales lateralis)
    Lateral sacral veins (vv. sacrales lateralis)
  • obturator veins (vv. obturatoriae)

Obturator veins (vv. obturatoriae)
Obturator veins (vv. obturatoriae)

b) The visceral tributaries of the internal iliac vein include:

  • The hemorrhoidal plexus of the rectum (plexus rectalis)

    Hemorrhoidal plexus of the rectum (plexus rectalis)
    Hemorrhoidal plexus of the rectum (plexus rectalis)
  • The plexus of the symphysis, which drains blood from the genitals (plexus symphysis)

    The plexus of the bladder (plexus vesicalis)

    Plexus of the bladder (plexus vesicalis)
    Plexus of the bladder (plexus vesicalis)
  • The plexus of the uterus and vagina in women, the prostate plexus in men (plexus uteri et vaginalis, plexus prostaticus)

Prostate plexus (plexus prostaticus)
Prostate plexus (plexus prostaticus)
Plexus of the uterus, vagina (plexus uterinus vaginalis)
Plexus of the uterus, vagina (plexus uterinus vaginalis)

The common iliac vein has virtually no true tributaries, with the exception of the median sacral vein (v.sacralis mediana), which ends by the left common iliac vein. The lateral sacral veins (vv.sacrales laterales), in turn, end by it.

Median sacral vein (v. sacralis mediana)
Median sacral vein (v. sacralis mediana)

They drain venous blood from the internal surface of the sacrum.

Lateral sacral veins (vv.sacrales laterales).
Lateral sacral veins (vv.sacrales laterales).
Dictionary

The iliac vein

Common iliac veins
vv. iliacae communes
Internal and external iliac veins
v. iliaca interna et v. iliaca externa
Inferior epigastric vein
v. epigastrica inferior
Femoral vein
v. femoralis
Ilio-gluteal vein
v. iliolumbalis
Lateral sacral veins
vv. sacrales lateralis
Obturator veins
vv. obturatoriae
Hemorrhoidal plexus of the rectum
plexushemorroidalis
Plexus of the symphysis, draining blood from the genitals
plexussymphysis
Plexus of the urinarybladder
plexusurinarius
Plexus of the uterusand vagina
plexus uteri et vaginalis
Prostate plexus
plexus prostaticus
Median sacral veins
v. sacralis mediana
Lateral sacral veins
vv. sacrales laterales
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