The most frequent variations of the veins of the forearm.
|Drains from||Dorsal venous network of hand|
|Drains to||Axillary vein and median cubital vein|
|Artery||Deltoid branch of thoracoacromial artery|
The cephalic vein is often visible through the skin, and its location in the deltopectoral groove is fairly consistent, making this site a good candidate for venous access. Permanent pacemaker leads are often placed in the cephalic vein in the deltopectoral groove. The vein may be used for intravenous access, as large bore cannula may be easily placed. However, the cannulation of a vein as close to the radial nerve as the cephalic vein can sometimes lead to nerve damage.
Ordinarily the term cephalic refers to anatomy of the head. When the Persian Muslim physician Ibn S?n?'s Canon was translated into medieval Latin, cephalic was mistakenly chosen to render the Arabic term al-kífal, meaning "outer".
Cross-section through the middle of upper arm
(cephalic vein labeled at upper left)