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Cephalic vein [Key Facts You Should Know About It]

Cephalic vein [Key Facts You Should Know About It]

After reading the name of the topic you got an idea of the article what it’s gonna be about. Yes, it’s about vein, cephalic vein. Did you ever hear about the cephalic vein? For medical students, YES! They have heard due to their anatomy course. For the layman, they might be heard or might not. The layman should understand some basics about the cephalic vein. This article will give a chunk of information for you guys to better understand the cephalic vein.

If you have read our article about the basilic vein you have an idea about the cephalic vein because we have discussed some facts about the cephalic vein as well. But here, in this article, we will give you a valid description of this topic including its anatomy, course, drainage, and location, etc. 

Let’s give a short glimpse at the venous system of the upper limb. So, the venous system of the upper limb clears out deoxygenated blood from the arm, forearm, and hand. It can be subdivided into the peripheral system and the deep system. Let’s move towards the cephalic vein. 

What is a Cephalic vein? 

The most main outermost veins of the upper limb are the cephalic and basilic veins. They are found within the hypodermic (subcutaneous) tissue of the upper limb. The cephalic vein is a superficial vein of the upper limb and it’s one of the two chief veins of the arm. The cephalic vein also begins from the dorsal venous plexus of the hand. It rises the anterolateral phase of the upper limb. The cephalic vein moving preliminary at the elbow. 

The superficial venous network is the main source of blood for most blood tests and is the tranquil place to obtain venous blood.

Cephalic vs Basilic Vein

The basilic vein begins from the dorsal venous network of the hand and ascends the medial phase of the upper limb and the cephalic vein also originates from the dorsal venous plexus of the hand. It ascends the anterolateral phase of the upper limb. The cephalic vein passes preliminary at the elbow. 

Anatomy of A Cephalic Vein

Cephalic vein [Key Facts You Should Know About It] 2 - Daily Medicos

The cephalic vein begins in the anatomical snuffbox from the radial plane (wrist) of the superficial venous network of the dorsum of the hand. The cephalic vein is the outermost (superficial) part of the arm, hand, and forearm. There is a valve between the superficial and deep vein that probably reduces the backflow from the deep venous system. 

Course:

The cephalic vein courses from the radial side of the superficial venous network. The vein curves throughout the radial aspect of the forearm to the course within the anterolateral forearm. The cephalic vein later meets with the basilic vein at the cubital fossa through the median cubital vein. It then reaches upwards across the anterior elbow region and arises into the anterolateral brachium lateral to the biceps muscle which is in the deltopectoral groove. 

The deltopectoral groove is made by the close edges of the deltoid and pectoralis major muscles. The cephalic vein resumes rising in a channel between the pectoralis major and deltoid muscles.

Branches of A Cephalic Vein:

The cephalic vein is one of the most superficial veins that drain into the upper limb. The two branches of the cephalic vein are; 

  • The median cubital vein: is a very common site of venipuncture. The median cubital vein joins the basilic vein to the cephalic vein in the anterior point of the cubital fossa.
  • Accessory cephalic vein: Accessory cephalic veins can begin from either one side like a venous plexus on the dorsum of the forearm or the medial side of the dorsal venous network of the hands.

Termination:

The cephalic vein ends by removing into the foremost part of the axillary vein at the Clavipectoral region. 

Drainage:

It passes the Clavipectoral fascia and axillary artery to clear out into the axillary vein under the clavicle. The cephalic vein drains the lateral surface of the superficial venous network of the dorsum. It then drains the blood from the palm. After that, the cephalic vein clears out blood from the lateral region of the upper limbs through small superficial veins. 

Conclusion

The most main outermost veins of the upper limb are the cephalic and basilic veins. They are found within the hypodermic (subcutaneous) tissue of the upper limb. It rises the anterolateral phase of the upper limb. The cephalic vein moving preliminary at the elbow. There are two branches of cephalic vein-like; the median cubital vein and accessory cephalic veins. The cephalic veins end in the axillary vein.

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