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J Anat. 1980 Mar;130(Pt 2):305-22.

The umbilical and paraumbilical veins of man.

Abstract

During its transit through the umbilicus structural changes occur in the thick wall of the extra-abdominal segment of the umbilical vein whereby the components of the intra-abdominal segment acquire an essentially longitudinal direction and become arranged in fibro-elastic and fibro-muscular zones. The vein lumen becomes largely obliterated by asymmetrical proliferation of loose subendothelial conective tissue. The latter forms a new inner zone within which a small segment of the lumen persists in an eccentric position. This residual lumen transmits blood to the portal system from paraumbilical and systemic sources, and is retained in the upper part of the vein, even in old age. A similar process of lumen closure is observed in the ductus venosus. In early childhood the lower third of the vein undergoes breakdown, with fatty infiltration, resulting in its complete division into vascular fibro-elastic strands, and in old age some breakdown occurs in the outermost part of the wall of the upper two thirds. The paraumbilical veins are thick-walled and of similar structure to the umbilical vein. Together they constitute an accessory portal system which is confined between the layers of the falciform ligament and is in communication with the veins of the ventral abdominal wall. The constituents form an ascending series, namely, Burow's veins, the umbilical vein, and Sappey's inferior and superior veins. The main channel of Sappey's inferior veins may be the remnant of the right umbilical vein since it communicates with the right rectus sheath and often communicates directly with the portal system within the right lobe of the liver. The results are of significance in relation to clinical usage of the umbilical vein.

PMID:
7400038
PMCID:
PMC1233134
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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