Vortex veins: anatomic investigations on human eyes

Clin Anat. 2005 May;18(4):269-73. doi: 10.1002/ca.20092.


The aim of this study was to determine number of ocular vortex veins, their scleral coordinates, and their relationship with nearby extraocular muscles. Sixty intact cadaver orbits having no history of eye or orbital disorders during life were carefully dissected under stereomicroscopic magnification to expose vortex veins and their exit sites from the eyeball. The number of vortex veins per eye varied from four to eight. Eyes having four (35%) or five (30%) vortex veins were observed most frequently. Three eyes (5%) had eight vortex veins. Although the incidence of the vortex veins was variable, there was at least one vein in each quadrant of the sclera. Knowledge of the approximate location of the vortex vein exit sites is very important for surgeons because damage to these veins during eye surgery could produce potential complications, especially choroidal detachment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cadaver
  • Choroid / injuries
  • Choroid Diseases
  • Eye / blood supply*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology
  • Orbit / anatomy & histology
  • Veins / anatomy & histology*