Smallest cardiac veins

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Vein: Smallest cardiac veins
Latin Venae cardiacae minimae,
venae cordis minimae
Gray's p.643

The smallest cardiac veins or Thebesian veins or veins of Thebesius are minute valveless veins in the walls of all four heart chambers and they are often confused with the distinct set of arterial connections, the "vessels of Wearn".[1][2] They are reportedly most abundant in the right atrium and least in the left ventricle. They drain the myocardium[3] and pass through the endocardial layer to empty mostly into the right atrium, but a few empty into the ventricles. This is different from most cardiac veins, which normally empty into the cardiac sinus, which then empties into the right atrium. The openings of the chambers are called the foramina venarum minimarum.

The Thebesian venous network is considered an alternative (secondary) pathway of venous drainage of the myocardium.

They are named after the German anatomist Adam Christian Thebesius, who described them in a 1708 treatise called Disputatio medica inauguralis de circulo sanguinis in corde.[4][5]


  1. ^ Snodgrass, Brett Thomas (1 July 2012). "Vessels Described by Thebesius and Pratt Are Distinct From Those Described by Vieussens and Wearn". The American Journal of Cardiology 110 (1): 160. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.04.005. PMID 22704295. 
  2. ^ Snodgrass, Brett (Available online 13 June 2014). Yunqing Li, Changman Zhou, ed. "Abstracts of IFAA Congress". Annals of Anatomy (in English) (Elsevier GmbH). 196S1: 4. doi:10.1016/j.aanat.2014.05.035. Retrieved 15 August 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ A. M. R. Agur; Arthur F. Dalley (2009). Grant's atlas of anatomy. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 53–. ISBN 978-0-7817-7055-2. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 
  4. ^ synd/4013 at Who Named It?
  5. ^ A. C. Thebesius. Disputatio medica inauguralis de circulo sanguinis in corde. Doctoral dissertation, Leiden, 1708.

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