Vol 62, No 4 (2003)
Short communication
Published online: 2003-09-05

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Variability of the azygos vein system in human foetuses

Elżbieta Krakowiak-Sarnowska, Marcin Wiśniewski, Michał Szpinda, Helena Krakowiak
Folia Morphol 2003;62(4):427-430.


The aim of the study was to examine the variability of the azygos vein system and to determine the location of the veins with reference to the vertebral midline and the skeletopy of their termination. The research material consisted of 32 human foetuses (14 male, 18 female) from 21st to 24th week of intrauterine life, fixed in 10% neutral formalin solution. Conventional anatomical - radiographic methods were used. 5 different configurations of the azygos vein system were found. In the 1st configuration there were 3 azygos veins, with both the left side veins, the hemiazygos vein (HV) and the hemiazygos accessory vein (HAV), joining the azygos vein (AV) separately. In the 2nd configuration the HV and the HAV were joined to the AV together. In the 3rd configuration the HAV was missing, and the 4th to 8th left intercostal veins were joined to the AV separately. In the 4th configuration the HV was missing. In the 5th configuration there was the AV only, which coursed along the vertebral midline. In these 4 configurations (1–4) the AV was located on the right side (90.6%) and in the 5th configuration the AV was located in the vertebral midline. The termination of the AV projected mostly on Th4 (81.25%). The junction of the HV and the AV was found the most frequently at Th8 (35.7%), and the junction of the HAV and AV most frequently at Th4 (41.6%).

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