Dorsal venous arch of the hand

A part of the human cardiovascular system, the dorsal venous arch of the hand is included in the superficial venous system. It is a set of connections of veins formed by the union of the dorsal metacarpal veins lying in subcutaneous tissues above the metacarpal bones. It drains into the cephalic and basilic veins but most of the blood from the entire hand drains into the arch of the hand. Its main function is the vascular supply of the hand. It not only receives blood from the palm around the borders of the hand, but also from veins that go through the interosseous spaces. In practical terms, this means that even when there is pressure on the palm from a gripping action, venous return does not slow. In addition, the cephalic and basilic veins come up from the dorsal venous arch. These are responsible for joining the deep veins and the lymphatics. These deep veins in the hand and forearm escort the arteries as venae comitantes. This means that these veins and arteries run alongside each other while performing their complementary roles. The arteries deliver oxygen-rich blood from the heart, while the veins carry oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Dorsal venous arch of the hand

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