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Anterior Spinal Veins
Cardiovascular System

Anterior Spinal Veins

Venae spinales anteriores

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Quick Facts

Origin: Along the length of the anterolateral spinal cord.

Course: Longitudinally along the length of the spinal cord.

Tributaries: Pial venous plexus and central veins.

Drainage: Anterior spinal cord.

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The anterior spinal veins are longitudinal veins that arise along the length of the spinal cord. One vein is located in the anterior median fissure, and is called the anterior central vein, while two veins are located more laterally, lying posterior to the anterior roots of the spinal cord.


The anterior spinal veins course along the length of the spinal cord. The anterior segmental medullary veins connect the anterior spinal veins to the intervertebral veins through which they drain. Cranially, the spinal veins pass through the foramen magnum of the skull to communicate with veins draining the medulla oblongata and the inferior surface of the cerebellum.


The anterior spinal veins receive central (anterior sulcal) veins and small venules from the pial plexus (sometimes called the coronal plexus).

Structures Drained

The anterior spinal veins drain the anterior spinal cord.

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Vertebral Vein

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The vertebral veins are connected to those in the chest through the vertebral canal and the ones in the abdomen and pelvis through intercostal, lumbar, and other connecting veins.

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Complete Anatomy