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open access eISSN 2093-3673

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Original Article

Anat Cell Biol 2023; 56(4): 448-455

Published online December 31, 2023


Copyright © Korean Association of ANATOMISTS.

Variations of azygos vein: a cadaveric study with clinical relevance

Ananya Priya1 , Shalom Elsy Philip2 , Anjali Jain3 , Aparajita Sikka3

1Department of Anatomy, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi, 2Department of Anatomy, Dr.M.K.Shah Medical College, Ahmedabad, 3Department of Anatomy, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India

Correspondence to:Ananya Priya
Department of Anatomy, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi 834010, India
E-mail: ananyapriya@ymail.com

Received: March 18, 2023; Revised: July 22, 2023; Accepted: July 24, 2023

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The azygos vein can be formed as a single root, two roots, and three roots, namely lateral, intermediate and the medial roots respectively. The hemiazygos vein and the accessory hemiazygos vein are the tributaries of azygos vein rather than its left side equivalents. Its variations, especially in young persons without any relevant risk factors, may result in thromboembolic illness. This study aimed to describe the morphological and morphometric variations of azygos system of veins. The present study was conducted on thirty formalin fixed adult human cadavers by dissecting azygos vein from formation to termination and variations were noted. The azygos vein was formed by a single root in 56.7%, by two roots: the lateral root and intermediate root in 36.7% cases and by the lateral root and medial root in 6.6%. The vertebral level of termination of azygos vein was seen at the level of T4 vertebrae in 70% cases, at the level of T3 vertebrae in 20% of cases and at the level of T5 vertebrae in 10% cases. The course of azygos vein was varying in 13.3%. These morphological variations can be useful while performing mediastinal surgery, mediastinoscopy, surgery of the deformations of the vertebral column, neurovascular surgeries of the retroperitoneal organs, disc herniation and fracture of thoracic vertebrae.

Keywords: Azygos vein, Aneurysm, Embryology, Mediastinum

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