Azygos vein - Definition

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The azygos vein is a blood vessel that runs up the right side of the spinal column. This vein carries blood from the right lumbar veins to the superior vena cava, which leads to the right atrium of the heart. On the left side the system functions differently, with the hemiazygos and accessory hemiazygos veins. These veins then join with the azygos vein, thus completing a finely intricate venous network.