Is Vena Cava Oxygenated Or Deoxygenated?

We should be grateful to be living in a time where modern medicine is the standard for a lot of conditions related to diseases or health conditions. Medicine in the old days can be terrifying or even unsafe but we all know that that was what all can be done during the time. Most of the body part in humans or structure found in humans plays its own role. One of them is known as vena cava. The question now is vena cava oxygenated or deoxygenated?

What is vena cava? Vena cava is considered the large vein collecting the blood from the upper or lower part of the human body. It is divided into two which are superior and inferior vena cava. When we talk about veins in general, we are referring to the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart from tissues and organs in the body. This means that the blood it carries within the veins is poor in oxygen as it is already used by the many organs and tissues in the body. Hence, is vena cava oxygenated or deoxygenated, we can say that vena cava is deoxygenated. It is worth noting while vein in general carries deoxygenated blood, pulmonary veins are an exception as they carry blood rich in oxygen from the lungs to the heart.

Superior vena cava function in returning blood poor in oxygen from the upper portion of the body including head, neck, arm and chest. Inferior vena cava function returns the deoxygenated blood from the lower portion of the body including abdomen, pelvis, legs and feet. Both vena cava return the blood into the right atrium (upper chamber) of the heart. As the name implies, the superior vena cava connects to the heart chamber from the above and the inferior vena cava is connected from the position of posterior (back) and inferior (below) to the heart chamber.

The deoxygenated blood in the right atrium blood will then pass through the right ventricle to be pumped through the pulmonary artery. It will then reach the lungs for the blood to be reoxygenated by removing its carbon dioxide content. The oxygenated blood from the lungs will pass through the pulmonary veins and to the left ventricle. This left ventricle of the heart will do its important job of pumping the blood through the aorta to different organs and tissues throughout the body. If you want to know how strong the left ventricle is, you can try placing your hand on the left side of your chest. The part where the heart is felt the most are likely to be the left ventricle of the heart. You may also see that health professionals place their stethoscope onto this area to hear the heart as this is the peak of the heart with the loudest sound. The left ventricle also has more cardiac muscle as it works hard to pump the blood to all parts of the body and withstand pressure from the blood.

Now that you have known more about the heart in general and vena cava specifically, you may wonder what is the importance of these structures to a human’s health. There are many conditions that can go wrong and cause symptoms when any part of the heart is affected. One of the common conditions affecting the vena cava are known as superior vena cava syndrome. It is a condition where there is blockage to the superior vena cava. This syndrome is commonly seen in those with malignancy, particularly lung cancer or non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is characterised by breathing difficulties, coughing and swelling to the face, neck, upper body and arms. Most cases of superior vena cava syndrome are seen with blood flows slowing down over days to weeks.

Beside superior vena cava syndrome, there is a condition known as inferior vena cava syndrome. It is a condition where there is obstruction or compression to the inferior vena cava. It can be caused by collateral or side branches of the vena cava, blood clot (thrombosis), malignancy, obesity, infection and other vein disease. Inferior vena cava syndrome is a rare condition as it is difficult to diagnose. Another rare condition affecting vena cava is congenital stenosis of vena cava. A congenital condition means the disease or conditions occur at birth. In this congenital stenosis of vena cava, the inferior vena cava can be absent either completely or partially, or duplicated. This congenital defect is often seen with other congenital anomalies. Persistent left superior vena cava is another congenital anomaly resulting from abnormal embryological processes in early fetal life.

In essence, vena cava is part of the blood circulation system that plays a role in delivering the deoxygenated blood to the right atrium. It is considered as a large vein and divided into superior or inferior vena cava. There are many conditions or diseases that are associated with vena cava when it does not function properly or structurally not normal as many other people.

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