Batson venous plexus (Batson veins) is a network of veins with no valves that connect deep pelvic veins draining the bladder, prostate and rectum to the internal vertebral venous plexus 1. These veins are important because they are believed to provide a route for spread of pelvic cancer metastases or infections to the spine 2.
History and etymology
The plexus is named after the anatomist Oscar Vivian Batson, who first described it in 1940.
- 1. Wiltse LL, Fonseca AS, Amster J et-al. Relationship of the dura, Hofmann's ligaments, Batson's plexus, and a fibrovascular membrane lying on the posterior surface of the vertebral bodies and attaching to the deep layer of the posterior longitudinal ligament. An anatomical, radiologic, and clinical study. Spine. 1993;18 (8): 1030-43. Pubmed citation
- 2. Batson OV. THE FUNCTION OF THE VERTEBRAL VEINS AND THEIR ROLE IN THE SPREAD OF METASTASES. Ann. Surg. 2007;112 (1): 138-49. Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation