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
TA24947, 4949
Anatomical terminology

The internal vertebral venous plexuses (intraspinal veins) lie within the vertebral canal in the epidural space,[1][2] embedded within epidural fat.[2][3] They receive tributaries from bones, red bone marrow, and spinal cord. They are arranged into four interconnected, vertically oriented vessels - two situated anteriorly, and two posteriorly:[3]

The anterior and posterior internal plexuses communicate via a series of venous rings - one near each vertebra.[3] Due to these interconnections, the anterior and posterior internal plexuses were formerly considered a single vascular unit - the retia venosa vertebrarum.[4]


The internal vertebral venous plexuses are composed of valveless veins.[2] They form a denser vascular network than the external vertebral venous plexuses.[3]

The basivertebral veins are the main tributaries of the plexus.[5]


They forms venous anastomoses through intervertebral foramina by way of intervertebral veins at all vertebral levels.[2]

Around the foramen magnum, they form an dense venous network with the vertebral veins, sigmoid sinuses, occipital sinuses, the basilar plexus, the condyloid emissary veins, and the rete canalis hypoglossi.[3]

The Batson venous plexus, which communicates the posterior intercostal vessels with the vertebral plexus, lacks valves so blood can flow in both directions. The clinical importance of this venous communication is that it represents an important phase in the establishment of vertebral metastases[6] and neuroschistomiasis.[7]


  1. ^ Moore, Keith (2010). Clinically Oriented Anatomy. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. pp. 472–3. ISBN 978-0-7817-7525-0.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "plexus venosus vertebralis internus". Retrieved 2023-05-12.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Standring, Susan (2020). Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice (42nd ed.). New York. p. 882. ISBN 978-0-7020-7707-4. OCLC 1201341621.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  4. ^ "retia venosa vertebrarum". Retrieved 2023-05-12.
  5. ^ Sinnatamby, Chummy S. (2011). Last's Anatomy (12th ed.). Elsevier Australia. p. 453. ISBN 978-0-7295-3752-0.
  6. ^ Brook RC, Tung K, Oeppen R. Batson’s plexus and retrograde venous spread of malignancy – a pictorial review. Cancer Imaging. 2014;14(Suppl 1):P40. Published 2014 Oct 9. doi:10.1186/1470-7330-14-S1-P40
  7. ^ Carbonell C, Rodríguez-Alonso B, López-Bernús A, Almeida H, Galindo-Pérez I, Velasco-Tirado V, Marcos M, Pardo-Lledías J, Belhassen-García M. Clinical Spectrum of Schistosomiasis: An Update. J Clin Med. 2021 Nov 25;10(23):5521. doi: 10.3390/jcm10235521. PMID: 34884223; PMCID: PMC8672275.