Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Publish with us
Accessory Cephalic Vein
Cardiovascular System

Accessory Cephalic Vein

Vena cephalica accessoria

Read more


The accessory cephalic vein originates from the medial aspect of the dorsal venous network (Standring, 2016). It may also arise from the:

- dorsal aspect of the distal forearm (40%);

- ulnar portion of the dorsal venous arch (30%);

- cephalic vein in the forearm (15%) (Tubbs et al., 2016)


The accessory cephalic vein courses in a superolateral direction along the posterior aspect of the forearm. It ends by uniting with the cephalic vein below the elbow (Standring, 2016, Doyle and Botte, 2003).


There are no named tributaries.

Structures Drained

The accessory cephalic vein contributes to the drainage of the hand and forearm.


Doyle, J. R. and Botte, M. J. (2003) Surgical Anatomy of the Hand and Upper Extremity. LWW medical book collection: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41 edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M. and Loukas, M. (2016) Bergman's Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation. Wiley.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Cephalic Vein

ScienceDirect image

The cephalic vein proceeds from the radial margin of the dorsal venous network of the hand and follows a course diagonally above the radial margin of the forearm to the cubital fossa.

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy