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Thoracoepigastric vein

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 14 Apr 2020

The thoracoepigastric vein provides a communication between the superficial epigastric vein and the lateral thoracic vein as it ascends superficially on the anterolateral chest and abdominal wall. It, therefore, drains into both the superior vena cava via the axillary vein and the inferior vena cava (IVC) via the femoral vein. It is often present in healthy individuals and in others may only become present in the setting of altered venous flow.

Related pathology

In the event of IVC obstruction, the thoracoepigastric vein can provide a collateral circuit to venous flow. Similarly, during portal hypertension, the paraumbilical veins may communicate with the thoracoepigastric vein thus providing a portosystemic circuit.

Inflammation of the thoracoepigastric vein and surrounding veins is known as Mondor disease.

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