Vein of Marshall

Last revised by David Carroll on 10 Feb 2019

The vein of Marshall, oblique vein of Marshall or the oblique vein of the left atrium is a small vein that descends on and drains the posterior wall of the left atrium. It drains directly into the coronary sinus at the same end as the great cardiac vein, marking the origin of the sinus.

It represents the persistent left horn of the sinus venous (left SVC) and is important prenatally, but is of little importance postnatally. 

It may be completely absent, in which case surrounding veins will drain the left atrium.

The pericardial folds surrounding this vessel, the Marshall ligament, may be a source  of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, and hence targeted during radio frequency ablation 4.

It is named after John Marshall (1818 - 1891): English surgeon and anatomist.

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