noun, Anatomy.
the large vein conveying blood to the liver from the veins of the stomach, intestine, spleen, and pancreas.
any vein connecting two capillary networks, esp in the liver (hepatic portal vein)

portal vein n.
A wide short vein that is formed by the superior mesenteric and splenic veins behind the pancreas, ascends in front of the inferior vena cava, and divides into right and left branches that ramify within the liver. Also called hepatic portal vein.


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