UAMS Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences - Veins of the Upper Limb

Gross Anatomy


NOTE: Many veins follow the branching and distribution pattern of the artery of the same name. This table contains veins that do not travel with an artery of the same name, or that run an independent course from the artery of the same name. See also: Artery Tables.


Selected Veins of the Upper Limb - Listed Alphabetically

Vein Tributaries Drains Into Regions Drained Notes
antebrachial, median superficial veins of the palm and anterior forearm median cubital v. or basilic v. palm; anterior forearm median antecubital v. is variable in size - it may be large or absent
basilic v. medial end of the dorsal venous arch of the hand; superficial veins of the forearm; median cubital v. it unites with the brachial vein(s) to form the axillary v. superficial parts of the medial side of the hand and medial side of the forearm basilic v. communicates with deep veins of the forearm through perforating veins, especially in the cubital region
brachiocephalic v. formed by the union of the subclavian v. and the internal jugular v.; tributaries: vertebral v., thymic v., inferior thyroid v., internal thoracic v., 1st posterior intercostal v., left superior intercostal v. (to the left brachiocephalic v.) the left and right brachiocephalic vv. unite to form the superior vena cava head; neck; upper limb; anterior chest wall at its origin, the left brachiocephalic v. receives the thoracic duct; at its origin, the right brachiocephalic v. receives the right lymphatic duct
cephalic v. lateral side of the dorsal venous arch of the hand; superficial veins of the forearm axillary vein superficial parts of the lateral hand and lateral forearm median cubital vein usually shunts some of the blood collected by the cephalic v. to the basilic v.
dorsal metacarpal v. of the hand dorsal digital vv. dorsal venous arch of the hand dorsal aspects of the digits of the hand dorsal metacarpal v. drains the adjacent sides of two digits
dorsal venous arch of the hand dorsal digital vv. and dorsal metacarpal vv. cephalic v. laterally, basilic v. medially dorsum of the digits and the superficial structures of the dorsum ot the hand dorsal venous arch is visible through the thin skin on the dorsum of the hand
median antebrachial v. superficial veins of the palm and anterior forearm median cubital v. or basilic v. palm; anterior forearm median antecubital v. is variable in size - it may be large or absent
median cubital v. cephalic basilic superficial part of the hand and forearm a median antebrachial vein occurs occasionally and, when present, it may drain into the median cubital vein


Some of the material presented in these tables is contained in the book:
MedCharts Anatomy by Thomas R. Gest and Jaye Schlesinger
Published by ILOC, Inc., New York. Copyright 1995.

The content of these tables has been edited for use in this course by Patrick W. Tank, Ph.D.
Copyright 2009, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Unauthorized use is prohibited.




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