Posterior intercostal veins

The posterior intercostal veins are veins that drain the intercostal spaces posteriorly. They run with their corresponding posterior intercostal artery on the underside of the rib, the vein superior to the artery. Each vein also gives off a dorsal branch that drains blood from the muscles of the back.

Posterior intercostal veins
The thoracic aorta, viewed from the left side. (Intercostals visible at right.)
ArteryPosterior intercostal arteries
Latinvenae intercostales posteriores
Anatomical terminology

There are eleven posterior intercostal veins on each side. Their patterns are variable, but they are commonly arranged as:

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