Inferior mesenteric vein

The inferior mesenteric vein drains blood from the distal portion of the colon as well as the rectum (i.e. the hindgut). 

Gross anatomy

Origin and course

The inferior mesenteric vein drains the mesenteric arcade of the hindgut (which comprises distal transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon). Specifically it drains the tributaries of sigmoid veins, middle and left colic veins, as well as the superior, middle and inferior rectal veins.


The inferior mesenteric vein usually drains into the splenic vein, however anatomical variants where it drains to the superior mesenteric vein are not uncommon. 


The inferior mesenteric vein lies left of the mesenteric artery and anterior to the left psoas major muscle. It can cross the left testicular artery or ascend medially to it. 

Abdominal and pelvic anatomy
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Article Information

rID: 47212
Section: Anatomy
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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