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Concept: Cephalic vein


The care and outcome of patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) on chronic hemodialysis is directly dependent on their hemodialysis access. A brachiocephalic fistula (BCF) is commonly placed in the elderly and in patients with a failed lower-arm, or radiocephalic, fistula. However, there are numerous complications such that the BCF has an average patency of only 3.6 years. A leading cause of BCF dysfunction and failure is stenosis in the arch of the cephalic vein near its junction with the axillary vein, which is called cephalic arch stenosis (CAS). Using a combined clinical and computational investigation, we seek to improve our understanding of the cause of CAS, and to develop a means of predicting CAS risk in patients with a planned BCF access. This paper details the methodology used to determine the hemodynamic consequences of the post-fistula environment and illustrates detailed results for a representative sample of patient-specific anatomies, including a single, bifurcated, and trifurcated arch. It is found that the high flows present due to fistula creation lead to secondary flows in the arch owing to its curvature with corresponding low wall shear stresses. The abnormally low wall shear stress locations correlate with the development of stenosis in the singular case that is tracked in time for a period of one year.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Dialysis, Force, Shear stress, Artificial kidney, Axillary vein, Cephalic vein, Basilic vein


The proximal cephalic vein that enters the axillary vein (cephalic arch) is a common site of stenosis in patients with upper extremity arteriovenous fistulas for hemodialysis (HD). In this study, we present the outcomes of a series of cephalic vein transposition, to determine its utility in the setting of refractory arch stenosis.

Concepts: Arteriovenous fistula, Upper limb, Axillary artery, Axillary vein, Dorsal venous network of hand, Cephalic vein, Basilic vein, Veins of the upper limb


The cephalic vein arises from the radial end of the dorsal venous arch. It turns around the radial border of the forearm and passes proximally along the arm to the shoulder, where it enters the axillary vein by penetrating the clavipectoral triangle. The cephalic vein is prone to vary at the antecubital fossa, where it forms numerous anastomoses. A male cadaver fixated with a 10% formalin solution was dissected during regular anatomy lessons. It was found that the cephalic vein crossed the upper third of the arm between two fasciculi of the deltoid muscle and reached the shoulder, where it passed above the acromion and crossed the posterior border of the clavicle in order to join the external jugular vein. The cephalic vein is one of the most used veins for innumerous activities, such as venipunctures and arteriovenous fistula creation. Furthermore, it is an anatomical landmark known for its consistent anatomy, as it possesses low rates of variability. Despite that, its anatomical variations are clinically and surgically significant and healthcare professionals must be aware of the variations of this vessel. We aim to report a rarely described variation of the cephalic vein and discuss its embryological, phylogenetic and clinical features.

Concepts: Anatomy, Shoulder, Subclavian vein, Deltoid muscle, Clavicle, Dorsal venous network of hand, Cephalic vein, Basilic vein


Although the cephalic vein follows a fairly consistent course, numerous variants have been reported. We found a rare anatomical presentation of the cephalic vein in a 75-year-old Korean male cadaver. The left cephalic vein was identified in the deltopectoral groove, ascended over the clavicle, and terminated into the left subclavian vein just before its union with the left internal jugular vein. The detailed knowledge on the variations of the cephalic vein is important for clinicians as well as anatomists since the approach through the axillary base is favored in many invasive clinical procedures.

Concepts: Internal jugular vein, Jugular vein, Central venous catheter, Subclavian vein, Brachiocephalic vein, Subclavian artery, Axillary vein, Cephalic vein


Percutaneous subclavian, axillary, and cephalic vein access are all used in conjunction for atrial and ventricular lead implantation, though no standard approach for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device implantation has been established. We describe an effective and a safe technique for implanting three leads via cephalic vein for CRT pacemaker and/or defibrillator implantations.

Concepts: Blood, Heart, Device, Implantation, Axillary vein, Cephalic vein


Axillary vein access for pacemaker implantation is uncommon in many centres because of the lack of training in this technique. We assessed whether the introduction of the axillary vein technique was safe and efficient as compared with cephalic vein access, in a centre where no operators had any previous experience in axillary vein puncture.

Concepts: Introduction, Axillary artery, Axillary vein, Dorsal venous network of hand, Cephalic vein, Basilic vein, Veins of the upper limb


The technique of axillary vein (AV) or subclavian vein (SV) puncture has become an important alternative to cephalic vein (CV) cutdown as an approach allowing cardiac lead introduction into the venous system during cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) implantation procedures. Irrespective of the technique used, the injury associated with lead insertion may induce a reflex venous spasm that can even cause total venous obstruction. In order to assess the incidence of AV spasm during AV puncture, we analyzed a total of 735 (382 in females and 353 in males; mean age 75±11 years) denovo CIED implantation procedures involving transvenous lead insertion conducted between January 2014 and December 2015.

Concepts: Heart, Vein, Subclavian vein, Axillary vein, Cephalic vein


Existing data on the relationship between venous access and long-term pacemaker lead failure (PLF) are scarce and inconsistent. We aim to study the hypothesis that contrast-guided axillary vein puncture (AP) is better than subclavian puncture (SP) and similar to cephalic vein cutdown (CV) in the incidence of PLF and the success rate of AP is higher than CV.

Concepts: Subclavian vein, Axillary artery, Superficial vein, Axillary vein, Dorsal venous network of hand, Cephalic vein, Basilic vein, Veins of the upper limb


Persistence of jugulocephalic vein is one of the extremely rare variations of the cephalic vein. Knowledge of such a variation is of utmost importance to orthopedic surgeons while treating the fractures of the clavicle, head and neck surgeons, during surgery of the lower part of neck, for cardiothoracic surgeons and radiologists during catheterization and cardiac device placement. We report the persistent jugulocephalic vein in an adult male cadaver, observed during the routine dissection classes. The right cephalic vein ascended upwards, superficial to the lateral part of the clavicle and terminated into the external jugular vein. It also gave a communicating branch to the axillary vein below the clavicle. We discuss the embryological and clinical importance of this rare variation.

Concepts: Head and neck anatomy, Head and neck, Jugular vein, Subclavian vein, Axillary vein, Veins of the head and neck, Cephalic vein, Basilic vein


The purpose of this study was to report variations of the cubital superficial vein patterns in the Korean subjects, which was investigated by using venous illuminator, AccuVein. The 200 Korean subjects were randomly chosen from the patients and staff of the Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center in Daegu, Korea. After excluding the inappropriate cases for detecting venous pattern, we collected 174 cases of right upper limbs and 179 cases of left upper limbs. The superficial veins of the cubital fossa were detected and classified into four types according to the presence of the median cubital vein (MCV) or median antebrachial vein. The type II, presenting the both cephalic and basilic vein connected by the MCV, was most common (177 upper limbs, 50.1%). Although the most common type in male and female was different as type I (108 upper limbs, 49.3%) and type II (75 upper limbs, 56.0%), respectively, statistical significance was not detected (P=0.241). The frequency of the each types between right and left upper limbs was also not different (P=0.973). Among 154 subjects who were observed the venous pattern in the both upper limbs, 76 subjects (49.3%) had the same venous pattern. Using AccuVein to investigate the venous pattern has an advantage of lager scale examination compared to the cadaver study. Our results might be helpful for medical practitioner to be aware of the variation of the superficial cubital superficial vein.

Concepts: Vein, Deep vein, Superficial vein, Dorsal venous network of hand, Cephalic vein, Cubital fossa, Median cubital vein, Basilic vein