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Anat Sci Int. 2015 Mar;90(2):123-5. doi: 10.1007/s12565-014-0230-5. Epub 2014 Mar 15.

Scimitar vein descending from the right inferior lobe to the inferior vena cava beneath the diaphragm: a rare case.

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Department of Anatomy, Tokyo Medical University, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-8402, Japan,


Scimitar syndrome is a rare anomaly involving a pulmonary vein flowing into the inferior vena cava (scimitar vein) and is commonly associated with lung hypoplasia wherein a scimitar vein drains the entire lung. We report a rare case of a scimitar vein draining only the right inferior lobe found in a 77-year-old male cadaver. In this case, no hypoplastic lung or abnormal lobulation were observed. The scimitar vein drained the inferior lobe of the right lung after piercing the diaphragm and draining into the inferior vena cava. The remaining two right pulmonary veins, draining the superior and middle lobes, terminated into the left atrium. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a scimitar vein during gross anatomical dissection in an adult cadaver. In adults, scimitar veins are often benign, incidental findings, and little is known about them. The present case of a scimitar vein partially draining the lung without lung hypoplasia offers important insights into the formative processes of the pulmonary venous system.

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