Veins of Sappey are small veins around the falciform ligament that drain the venous blood from the anterior part of the abdominal wall directly into the liver. This flow dilutes the portal perfusion at these sites, causing hepatic pseudolesions.

Gross anatomy

The superior vein of Sappey drains the upper portion of the falciform ligament and medial part of the diaphragm and enters peripheral portal branches of the left hepatic lobe; it also communicates with branches of the superior epigastric or internal thoracic veins.

The inferior vein of Sappey drains the lower portion of the falciform ligament and enters peripheral portal branches of the left hepatic lobe; it descends along the round ligament and communicates with branches of inferior epigastric veins around the umbilicus.

The vein of Burow is a third vein around falciform ligament, but it does not enter the liver directly. However, it terminates in the middle portion of the collapsed umbilical vein, although some small communicating branches are present between it and the inferior vein of Sappey, namely, the intercalary veins.

Abdominal and pelvic anatomy
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Article Information

rID: 33251
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Vein of Sappey
  • Vein of Burow
  • Sappey veins
  • Superior vein of Sappey
  • Inferior vein of Sappey

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