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The superior vena cava brings oxygen-poor blood from the head, neck and arms to the right atrium, while the inferior vena cava returns oxygen-poor blood to the same chamber from lower portions of the body. Remember that both the superior and inferior vena cavae (cavae is plural for cava and is pronounced cay-veeh). The superior vena cava connects to the top of the right atrium (and hence the term superior) while the inferior vena cava connects to the bottom of the chamber.
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