|Superior mesenteric vein|
The abdomen viewed from the front, showing the portal venous system, showing the superior mesenteric vein and its tributaries. (Lienal vein is an old term for splenic vein.)
|System||Hepatic portal system|
|Drains to||hepatic portal vein|
|Artery||superior mesenteric artery|
|Latin||vena mesenterica superior|
The superior mesenteric vein is a blood vessel that drains blood from the small intestine (jejunum and ileum). At its termination behind the neck of the pancreas, the superior mesenteric vein combines with the splenic vein to form the hepatic portal vein. The superior mesenteric vein lies to the right of the similarly named artery, the superior mesenteric artery, which originates from the abdominal aorta.
Thrombosis of the superior mesenteric vein is quite rare, but a significant cause of mesenteric ischemia and can be fatal. It is estimated that 10-15% of mesenteric ischemia is due to mesenteric thrombosis.