Radial vein

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 02 Aug 2021

The radial vein is one of the two major deep veins of the forearm, along with the ulnar vein. As is usual in the upper and lower limbs, there are often two veins (venae comitantes) that run on either side of the radial artery and anastomose freely with each other.

It forms in the hand from the deep palmar venous arch. As it ascends in the lateral aspect of the anterior compartment of the forearm, it receives numerous tributaries that accompany the respective branches of the radial artery. The radial vein terminates in the cubital fossa where it joins the ulnar vein to form the brachial vein.

The radial vein drains the lateral structures of the forearm, but little of the hand.

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