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Dorsal Venous Network of Hand
Cardiovascular System

Dorsal Venous Network of Hand

Rete venosum dorsale manus

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Quick Facts

Origin: Dorsal metacarpal and dorsal digital veins.

Course: Proximally, extends across the dorsal aspect of metacarpals.

Tributaries: Dorsal digital, intercapitular, and dorsal metacarpal veins.

Drainage: Dorsal aspect of the hand.

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The dorsal venous network of the hand arises from the unification of the dorsal metacarpal and dorsal digital veins.


The dorsal anastomosis forms an asymmetrical dorsal network and, in 70% of individuals, forms a dorsal arch (Tubbs et al., 2016).


The dorsal venous network receives the dorsal digital, dorsal metacarpal, and intercapitular veins. The veins of the dorsal venous network coalesce on the radial aspect with digital veins of the thumb and form the cephalic vein. Conversely, on the ulnar aspect, the network coalesces with the digital veins of the little finger and forms the basilic vein (Doyle and Botte, 2003).

Structures Drained

The superficial venous system is the primary drainage of the hand. The palmar venous drainage is insufficient and blood of the palm of the hand is drained primarily by the dorsal venous network via the intercapitular veins (Doyle and Botte, 2003, Tubbs et al., 2016).


Doyle, J. R. and Botte, M. J. (2003) Surgical Anatomy of the Hand and Upper Extremity. LWW medical book collection: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M. and Loukas, M. (2016) Bergman's Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation. Wiley.

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Vein is a secreted ligand for the Drosophila EGFR receptor homolog (EGFR), and EGFR-mediated activation of the Ras/MAP kinase pathway is essential for longitduinal glial cell survival (Hidalgo et al., 2001).

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