The Axillary Vein
- This large vessel lies on the medial side of the axillary artery.
- It fully overlaps the artery anteriorly while the arm is abducted.
- The axillary vein, the extension of the basilic vein, begins at the inferior border of the teres major muscle.
- It ends laterally to the first rib, where it turns the subclavian vein.
- The axillary vein collects tributaries that correspond to the branches of the axillary artery and at the inferior border of the subscapularis muscle, the axillary vein receives the venae comitantes (accompanying vein)of the brachial artery.
- Superior to the pectoralis minor muscle, the axillary vein is connected by the cephalic vein.
Veins of the Arm and Cubital Fossa
- Two deep brachial veins follow the brachial artery.
- These veins and their conjunctions encompass the artery in an anastomotic network. The pulsations of the brachial artery aid to move the blood through this venous network.
- The brachial veins start at the elbow joint, by the union of the venae comitantes of the ulnar and radial arteries, and both end in the axillary vein.
- The brachial veins hold valves and are connected at intervals by short transverse branches.
- Sometimes, the deep veins combine to form one brachial vein during part of their course.
The two foremost superficial veins of the arm are the cephalic and basilic veins.
The Basilic Vein
This vein is further located in the superficial fascia and passes on the medial side of the inferior component of the arm.
- In the middle and inferior thirds of the arm, the basilic vein crosses the deep to the brachial fascia and runs superiorly to the axilla.
- This vein fits the axillary vein.
The Cephalic Vein
- This vein is located in the superficial fascia adjacent the anterolateral surface of the biceps brachii muscle and is often apparent through the skin.
- Superiorly to the cephalic vein passes within the muscles of the deltoid and pectoralis major and into the deltopectoral triangle, where it empties into the axillary vein.
The Median Cubital Vein
This vein forms the interface between the basilic and cephalic veins in the cubital fossa.
- It lies anterior to the bicipital aponeurosis.
Veins of the Hand
- The superficial and deep palmar arterial arches are followed by venae comitantes, known as the superficial and deep venous arches.
- The dorsal digital veins drain into three dorsal metacarpal veins, which unite to form a dorsal venous network.
- Superficial and deep venous arches are located in the superficial to the metacarpus, this network is prolonged proximally as the cephalic vein, which winds superiorly near the lateral border of the forearm to its anterior surface.