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Background: The portal vein is an intra-abdominal large vein. It drains the venous blood from the abdominal and pelvic parts of the digestive tract and its associated glands including the spleen, pancreas and gallbladder. Variations of its formation were previously reported in literatures. The anatomic dimensions of the portal vein and its variations of formation have not been established for Thais. Objectives of the present study is determine the length, diameter and variations in types of portal vein formations in Northeastern Thais
Study design: A descriptive study based on anatomical dissection and morphometry.
Setting: Gross Anatomy Laboratory Dissecting room at the Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Thailand.
Subjects: Sixty five donated, embalmed Northeastern Thai cadavers (40 males; 25 females) ranging between 38 and 87 years of age at decease were used.
Methods: All cadavers were dissected in order to approach the portal veins, superior mesenteric, splenic and inferior mesenteric veins. The length and diameter of each portal vein were measured by vernier caliper and recorded. Variations of the portal vein formation in relation to the termination or point of entry of the inferior mesenteric veins were determined and recorded.
Results: The average length and diameter of the portal veins was 6.61 + 0.93 cm and 1.18 + 0.23 cm respectively. Of 65 cases, Type I of the portal vein, which was formed by the union of the superior mesenteric vein and splenic vein was found in 55 cases of 65 cases (84.61%). The confluence of the superior mesenteric, splenic and inferior mesenteric veins to form the portal vein type II, occurred only in 10 cases (15.39%).
Conclusions: Our results demonstrated the average lengths (6.61 + 0.93 cm) and diameters (1.18 + 0.23 cm) of the portal vein and the possible anatomic differences of its formation among Northeastern Thais. It was interesting to find that the superior mesenteric, splenic and inferior mesenteric veins join to form the portal vein occurred in 10 cases.
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