Internal vertebral venous plexuses

The internal vertebral venous plexuses (intraspinal veins) lie within the vertebral canal in the epidural space,[1] and receive tributaries from the bones and from the spinal cord.

Internal vertebral venous plexuses
Transverse section of a thoracic vertebra, showing the vertebral venous plexuses.
Median sagittal section of two thoracic vertebrae, showing the vertebral venous plexuses.
Latinplexus venosus vertebralis internus
Anatomical terminology

They form a closer network than the external plexuses, and, running mainly in a vertical direction, form four longitudinal veins, two in front and two behind; they therefore may be divided into anterior and posterior groups.

The anterior and posterior plexuses communicate freely with one another by a series of venous rings (retia venosa vertebrarum), one opposite each vertebra.

Around the foramen magnum they form an intricate network which opens into the vertebral veins and is connected above with the occipital sinus, the basilar plexus, the condyloid emissary vein, and the rete canalis hypoglossi.


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 668 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. Moore, Keith (2010). Clinically Oriented Anatomy. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. pp. 472–3. ISBN 978-0-7817-7525-0.

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