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Brachial Veins
Cardiovascular System

Brachial Veins

Venae brachiales

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Quick Facts

Origin: Radial and ulnar veins.

Course: Superiorly in the arm, accompanying the brachial artery as far as the inferior margin of the subscapularis muscle.

Tributaries: Deep brachial, superior ulnar collateral, and inferior ulnar collateral veins.

Drainage: Arm.

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The brachial veins arise from the unification of the radial and ulnar arteries at the level of the distal arm.


There are usually two brachial veins on the medial and lateral aspects of the brachial artery. They course superiorly along the medial aspect of the arm. At the level of the inferior edge of the subscapularis muscle, the brachial veins join the basilic vein to form the axillary vein. Pulsations from the artery help venous return (Moore, Dalley and Agur, 2013; Standring, 2016).


The tributaries of the brachial veins are similar to those of the brachial arteries. These include the deep brachial, superior collateral, and inferior collateral veins. There are also numerous anastomoses with the superficial veins (Doyle and Botte, 2003).

Structures Drained

The brachial veins provide deep venous drainage to the arm.


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

Moore, K. L., Dalley, A. F. and Agur, A. M. R. (2013) Clinically Oriented Anatomy. Clinically Oriented Anatomy 7th edn.: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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

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Brachial Vein

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It receives the brachial vein near the lower border of subscapularis and passes under the pectoralis minor muscles to terminate at the outer border of the first rib, where it becomes the subclavian vein.

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