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Deep cerebral veins

The deep cerebral veins (Latin: venae cerebri profundae) are venous blood vessels that collect blood from the white matter of the cerebrum, subcortical structures such as the basal ganglia, and the choroid plexuses. In the human brain, there are four paired and one unpaired deep cerebral vein. Vessels belonging to the deep cerebral veins include the following:

  • Thalamostriate vein
  • Choroid vein
  • Vein of the septum pellucidum
  • Internal cerebral vein
  • Great cerebral vein

The thalamostriate vein passes between the superior surface of the thalamus and the caudate nucleus, and collects venous blood from the thalamus, caudate nucleus, and the internal capsule. Upon reaching the interventricular foramen, the thalamostriate vein unites with the choroid vein and the vein of the septum pellucidum to form the internal cerebral vein. The choroid vein collects venous blood from the choroid plexus of the lateral ventricle, while the vein of the septum pellucidum - from the surfaces of the anterior horn of the lateral ventricle.

As mentioned, the internal cerebral vein is formed by the union of the thalamostriate vein, choroid vein, and vein of the septum pellucidum. The internal cerebral vein is a paired vein and it passes posteriorly along the superior surface of the third ventricle on each side. Then it runs between the layers of the tela choroidea of the third ventricle. Below the splenium of the corpus callosum, the two internal cerebral veins unite and form the great cerebral vein.

The great cerebral vein is a large, unpaired blood vessel that passes posterosuperiorly around the posterior border of the splenium of the corpus callosum. It drains into the straight sinus. On its course, the great cerebral vein receives the basal vein that collects venous blood from the hypothalamus and the basal nuclei.