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Median antebrachial vein

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Median antebrachial vein (Vena mediana antebrachii)

The median antebrachial vein (median vein of the forearm) is a large superficial forearm vein that drains the structures of the anterior forearm, palmar (volar) surface of the hand and antecubital region of the forearm.

This vein ascends in the anterior compartment of the forearm and terminates by emptying into the basilic or median cubital veins within the cubital fossa. In some cases, the median antebrachial vein divides into two branches which drain into the cephalic and basilic veins respectively.

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the median antebrachial vein.

Key facts about the median antebrachial vein
Drains from Venous plexus on palmar surface of hand
Tributaries Small superficial veins of the forearm
Drains to Basilic and median cubital veins 
Drainage area Palmar (volar) surface of the forearm and hand
  1. Anatomy and function
  2. Sources
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Anatomy and function

The median antebrachial vein is a highly variable superficial vessel of the forearm. It arises around the dorsum of the thumb and wraps around the radial side of the wrist. The vein then ascends alongside the radial artery on the medial edge of brachioradialis muscle until it reaches the cubital fossa. Here, above the pronator teres muscle, it drains into the cephalic or median cubital veins.

Sometimes, the median antebrachial vein terminates by splitting into the intermediate basilic and intermediate cephalic veins, which join their corresponding veins below the elbow. If present, this bifurcation has an inverted Y-shaped configuration. Occasionally, the median antebrachial vein divides lower, where one branch drains into the basilic vein and the other into the median cubital vein.

The main function of the median antebrachial vein is to drain venous blood from the antecubital region of the forearm, a shallow depression distal to the cubital fossa and the superficial structures of the anterior forearm.

Explore our articles, quizzes, video tutorials, and labeled diagrams to learn everything about the blood vessels of the forearm.

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