Basal vein of Rosenthal

Last revised by Dr Bálint Botz on 09 Apr 2022

The basal veins, also known as the 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.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: normal basal vein of Rosenthal
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  • Figure 2: Trolard and Rosenthal veins
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  • Figure 3: venous vascular territories (illustration)
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