In human anatomy, the basilic vein is a large superficial vein of the upper limb that helps drain parts of hand and forearm. It originates on the medial (ulnar) side of the dorsal venous network of the hand, and it travels up the base of the forearm and arm. Most of its course is superficial; it generally travels in the fat and other fasciae that lie superficial to the muscles of the upper extremity. Because of this, it is usually visible through the skin.
Near the region anterior to the cubital fossa, in the bend of the elbow joint, the basilic vein usually connects with the other large superficial vein of the upper extremity, the cephalic vein, via the median cubital vein. The layout of superficial veins in the forearm is highly variable from person to person, and there are generally a variety of other unnamed superficial veins that the basilic vein communicates with.
About halfway up the arm proper (the part between the shoulder and elbow), the basilic vein goes deep, travelling under the muscles. There, around the lower border of the teres major muscle, it joins the brachial veins to form the axillary vein.
Along with other superficial veins in the forearm, the basilic vein is a possible site for venipuncture.
Cross-section through the middle of upper arm.
Cross-section through the middle of the forearm.
The brachial artery.
The veins on the dorsum of the hand.