Median antebrachial vein

One of the larger veins of the upper limb is the median antebrachial vein. It runs along the forearm (antebrachium), which extends between the elbow and the wrist. While many veins correlate with synonymous arteries (with parallel branching and distribution patterns), this independent vein constitutes one of the exceptions to this rule. The median antebrachial vein drains the palm and anterior forearm into the basilica vein or median cubital vein (the latter absent in some specimens). It stems off into smaller superficial branches, known as tributaries, located in both the palm and anterior forearm. Intravenous fluid drips (IV) help administer solutions into the body through the veins. Lying near the skin's surface, veins have thin walls, lower blood pressure than the arteries, and the ability to expand; as such, veins are well-suited to carry the injected fluid, and facilitate access for the IV needle. Given its size, the median antebrachial vein is particularly easy to locate for IV, although IV insertion in this region restricts a patient's mobility. IV employs larger veins for long-term therapy or for treatments delivering high volumes of fluid, such as total parenteral nutrition (TPN) when nutrition is received on an exclusively intravenous basis.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Median antebrachial vein

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