Is the largest drawn vein on first attached pictue v. brachialis or did they make a mistake and it's actually v. basilica?

Picture 1: Cross section through the right arm (source: Thieme, General Anatomy and Musculoskeletal System, p. 296)

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Location of sectional plane (picture 1):

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Picture 2: A similar drawing from Sobotta (source: Sobotta, General Anatomy and Musculoskeletal System, p. 240) : enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ do you have better quality images? its very unclear $\endgroup$
    – rg255
    Mar 3, 2016 at 12:29
  • $\begingroup$ @rg255: I've added a better quality of picture 1, but I don't have a higher quality of picture 2. $\endgroup$ Mar 3, 2016 at 12:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @inferoanteriorly for that top figure, how far proximal on the arm are they? In my opinion – that should say basilic vein. However, the question isn't very clear as there's no cephalic vein on that image (like the lower image) – is that picture just more proximal than the lower? Where does the book indicate that that slice is through on the arm? $\endgroup$ Mar 3, 2016 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ @VanceLAlbaugh: I've added a picture, which shows location of cross section from picture 1. $\endgroup$ Mar 3, 2016 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


Based on the location of that cross section in the upper arm the vein in question appears to be the basilic vein. The basilic and cephalic veins are the largest veins (most of the time) in the upper arm. Here is a nice diagram from wikipedia that shows both. The cephalic vein is much more superficial than the basilic vein, as you can somewhat appreciate in the diagram below.

Wikipedia Image

I think the label "brachial vein" is probably an honest case of mislabeling.

This is another figure that supports that vein in the image in the question as the basilic vein as well: Deeper Image

From this image (Gray's Anatomy), you can appreciate that the basilic vein is the large and deeper vein that runs near the brachial artery. In the case of many arteries and veins there are similar names, but that does not appear to be the case in this instance.

Clinical Correlate: In vascular and/or transplant surgery, when making an arteriovenous fistula for dialysis access (for kidney failure), there are a number of common routes of access. Two of the most common are the (1) brachiocephalic fistula, which is formed by surgically connecting the brachial artery to the cephalic vein, and (2) brachiobasilic fistula, which is created by connecting the brachial artery to the basilic vein. Some additional information and a picture can be found in this open access article from Maya et al entitled Outcomes of Brachiocephalic Fistulas, Transposed Brachiobasilic Fistulas, and Upper Arm Grafts .

Figure from Open Access PDF Maya et all 2008


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