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Vucinic, N., Eric, M. and Macanovic, M. (2015) Patterns of superficial veins of the middle upper extremity in Caucasian population. The Journal of Vascular Access. June 20th. .


PURPOSE: Superficial veins of the middle upper extremity are frequently variable in existence and arrangement. The superficial veins are clinically important in many revascularization procedures, particularly reconstructive microsurgery and arterial bypass surgery as well as intravenous injection or therapy. The aim of this study was to assess the patterns of superficial veins of middle upper extremity in healthy volunteers.

METHODS: We examined both arms of 169 people. A tourniquet was applied at the mid-arm and a drawing made of the pattern of veins. It took about 1-3 min for each arm. We then examined the 338 drawings looking for similar patterns. The study took place in Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine in Novi Sad, Serbia.

RESULTS: We found nine patterns of middle upper extremity veins. The most common was an ‘M’-shaped pattern (115/338, 34%) followed by an ‘N’-shaped pattern (97/338, 29%).

CONCLUSIONS: There are only nine basic patterns of middle upper extremity venous anatomy. Some are more common than others. This knowledge should help those needing venous access for medical procedures (venepuncture, transfusion, infusion, cardiac catheterization, placement of dialysis access).

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