In my years of experience as a medical industry trainer, and specially in the cardiovascular arena, I doubt if I ever received the correct answer to the question "How many are the great vessels?". Answer it now before you read the rest of this article, you may be surprised!
A great vessel is an artery or a vein that is in direct contact with the heart taking or bringing blood from the heart to the body and vice versa. At this point, most of the attendees to one of my conferences would answer "4". This is not correct.
The great vessels are:
There are four pulmonary veins, two on each side (sometimes three on the right side), one superior and one inferior. This brings the total number of the great vessels to eight! By the way, if you answered "pulmonary artery" as one of the great vessels, that is not correct. Read more on the correct answer here.