Relationship Between the Hepatic Veins and the Three Segments

Generally speaking, the hepatic vein is comprised of three veins: right, middle, and left. The right hepatic vein runs between the right segment and the middle segment, that is to say, the intersegmental plane. The middle hepatic vein runs between the middle segment and the left segment.

In many individuals, the middle and left hepatic veins meet each other and form a common channel, draining into the inferior vena cava (IVC). Therefore, the left hepatic vein is regarded as a branch of the middle hepatic vein. The left hepatic vein drains only the left segment. Thus, it is a general rule that the two main hepatic veins, right and middle, run along the inter-segmental plane. Also, several short hepatic veins come from the caudate area that surrounds the inferior vena cava (IVC) and flow directly into the IVC.

Fig. 2.2. Relationship between the hepatic veins and the three segments. IVC, inferior vena cava; RHV, right hepatic vein; MHV, middle hepatic vein

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