Basal vein of Rosenthal

Last revised by Patrick O'Shea on 19 Oct 2023

The basal veins, also known as the paramedian basal veins or veins of Rosenthal, are paired, paramedian veins which originate on the medial surface of the temporal lobe and run posteriorly and medially. Each vein passes lateral to the midbrain through the ambient cistern to drain into the vein of Galen with the internal cerebral veins. They are closely related to the posterior cerebral arteries (PCA) and the trochlear nerves (cranial nerve IV) within the ambient cisterns. 

The drainage territory is highly variable and usually includes the mesial temporal lobes and associated substructures such as the parahippocampal gyrus and uncus. It may also drain the posterior insular region.

History and etymology

The basal vein was described by German zoologist, anatomist and doctor Friedrich Christian Rosenthal (born 1780) in 1819 when investigating the branches of the vein of Galen 3.

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