The splenic vein has farther to go than its artery because it has to cross
the median plane to reach the beginning of the splenic
vein; and it is a little lower than the artery because it is behind
the pancreas; the artery begins in the
median plane and runs along the upper border of the pancreas.
|The splenic vein and its tributaries are shown in
red in this schema of the portal system of veins
Origin, relations, and termination
The splenic vein begins in the lieno-renal ligament by the union of five
or six veins that issue from the hilum of the spleen.
It emerges from the ligament and runs toward the right behind the body of
the pancreas across the left kidney, the
left crus of the diaphragm and the aorta,
to end on the front of the inferior
vena cava by joining the superior mesenteric vein to form the portal
vein. It crosses the aorta between the origins of the celiac and superior
mesenteric arteries, and is closely related to both of them – the
celiac above it, the superior mesenteric below it.
Besides its splenic tributaries, the short gastric and left gastro-epiploic
veins from the stomach join it near its origin or may join these tributaries;
small pancreatic veins join it throughout its course; and the inferior mesenteric,
bringing blood from the rectum and the distal half of the colon, joins it
at any part of its last two inches – and may even join the commencement
of the portal vein or the end of the superior mesenteric.