superior vena cava

Last reviewed 01/2018

The superior vena cava is a great vein within the thorax which drains from all the territories above the diaphragm except those drained by the pulmonary arteries. It drains to the right atrium of the heart.

The SVC is drained into by the:

  • right brachiocephalic vein
  • left brachiocephalic vein
  • azgous vein

A number of pathologies leading to space-occupying masses within the mediastinum can produce superior vena caval obstruction.