The portal vein drains blood from the intestine, stomach, spleen, pancreas, and gallbladder into the liver. The liver processes the nutrients in this blood and filters out toxic substances. The hepatic veins then carry the blood away from the liver and into the inferior vena cava, which leads to the right atrium, one of the four chambers of the heart.
Review Date 4/15/2021
Updated by: Jenifer K. Lehrer, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Aria - Jefferson Health Torresdale, Jefferson Digestive Diseases Network, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.