Internal cerebral vein

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 07 Dec 2021

The internal cerebral veins are paired, paramedian veins which course posteriorly along the roof of the third ventricle, between the two leaves of the velum interpositum.

Gross anatomy

Each is formed at the foramen of Monro by the confluence of the choroidal vein (draining the choroid plexus of the lateral ventricle), and the thalamostriate vein (which lies in the groove between the thalamus and caudate nucleus and receives blood from both). The veins of the septum pellucidum usually join the thalamostriate vein.

The internal cerebral veins unite with the basal veins (of Rosenthal) to form the great cerebral vein (of Galen) just beneath the splenium of the corpus callosum in the quadrigeminal cistern. The confluence of the great cerebral vein and inferior sagittal sinus forms the straight sinus.

The drainage territory is highly variable and usually includes the thalami and periventricular white matter.

Related pathology

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: internal cerebral veins (Gray's illustration)
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  • Case 1
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  • Case 1 : annotated
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  • Case 2 : with concurrent pineal cyst
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  • Figure 2: venous vascular territories (illustration)
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