Superior ophthalmic vein

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Veins around the eyes

The superior ophthalmic vein (med . Lat. For 'upper eye vein') is a vein in the head that serves to drain blood from the eye socket , lacrimal gland and the eye . Its coverage area corresponds to that of the ophthalmic artery . It arises from a plexus of veins in the nasal part of the eye socket under the upper eyelid , runs between the upper rectus superior eye muscle and the optic nerve laterally, then through the orbital fissure into the cranial cavity and finally opens into the cavernous sinus .

The following branches open into the superior ophthalmic vein from the eye socket:

  • The nasofrontal vein (nasal forehead vein) connects the superior ophthalmic vein in its area of ​​origin with the angular vein .
  • The ethmoid veins (ethmoid veins ) run through the ethmoid foramen and carry blood from the ethmoid cells .
  • The lacrimal vein (tear vein) carries blood from the lacrimal gland and the lateral eye muscles .
  • The palpebral veins (eyelid veins) come from the upper eyelid.

The superior ophthalmic vein receives the following tributaries from the eyeball:

  • The 4-6 vorticous veins ( vertebral veins ) come from the choroid .
  • The ciliary veins conduct blood from the ciliary body .
  • The venae ciliares anteriores conduct the blood from the plexus venosus sclerae and thus ensure the drainage of aqueous humor and also take in the blood of the meningeal parts of the white eye skin via the venae sclerae .
  • The episcleral veins carry blood from the white skin of the eye.
  • The conjunctival veins carry blood from the conjunctiva .


  • H. Frick, H. Leonhardt, D. Starck: Special Anatomy II . Georg Thieme Verlag, 4th edition 1992, ISBN 9783133569040 , p. 533.