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Superior Ophthalmic Vein
Cardiovascular System

Superior Ophthalmic Vein

Vena ophthalmica superior

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Quick Facts

Origin: Superomedial orbital rim.

Course: It accompanies the ophthalmic artery along its course, passing through the superior orbital fissure to reach the cavernous sinus.

Tributaries: Superior vorticose, nasofrontal, central retinal, ethmoidal, lacrimal, and inferior ophthalmic veins.

Drainage: Eyeball, structures of the orbit, and adjacent facial structures.

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Origin

The superior ophthalmic vein originates at the superomedial orbital rim, where it is formed by the union of two tributaries/roots. The superior root is the orbital continuation of the supraorbital vein, while the inferior root is the terminal pat of the angular vein. On entry into the orbit, the two roots join to form the superior ophthalmic vein just posterior to the trochlea and medial to the tendinous insertion of the superior rectus muscle (Cheung and McNab, 2003).

Course

The superior ophthalmic vein lies inside the retrobulbar fat where it is embedded in and supported by connective tissue septal layers. The vein accompanies the ophthalmic artery along its course, lying between the optic nerve and superior rectus muscle. It passes through the superior orbital fissure, above the common tendinous ring of the recti muscles to reach the cavernous sinus (Cheung and McNab, 2003).

Tributaries

The superior ophthalmic vein receives two superior vorticose veins, the central retinal vein, ethmoidal veins, nasofrontal vein, and the inferior ophthalmic vein.

Structures Drained

The superior ophthalmic vein drains the eyeball, structures of the orbit, and adjacent facial structures.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Cavernous sinus thrombosis

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Superior Ophthalmic Vein

ScienceDirect image

A medial system is made up of the superior ophthalmic vein (SOV), the CS, and the inferior petrosal sinus (IPS) (the CS system), and a lateral system draining the cortical blood of the cerebral convexity through the SMCV toward pterygoid plexus (PP) and/or transverse sinus (TS) through the LCS (the LCS system).

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Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

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