Brachiocephalic vein

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Brachiocephalic vein
The thyroid gland and its relations. (Label for "Right innom. vein" and "Left innom. vein" visible at bottom center.)
The arch of the aorta, and its branches. (Right innom. vein labeled at upper right; left innominate vein labeled at center top.)
SourceInternal jugular
superior intercostal
inferior thyroid
Drains toSuperior vena cava
ArteryBrachiocephalic artery
Latinvena brachiocephalica
vena anonyma
Anatomical terminology

The left and right brachiocephalic veins (or innominate veins) are major veins in the upper chest, formed by the union of each corresponding internal jugular vein and subclavian vein.[1] This is at the level of the sternoclavicular joint.[2] The left brachiocephalic vein is nearly always longer than the right.[3]

These veins merge to form the superior vena cava, a great vessel, posterior to the junction of the first costal cartilage with the manubrium of the sternum.[4][5]

The brachiocephalic veins are the major veins returning blood to the superior vena cava.[3]


Veins of the thoracic and abdominal regions

The brachiocephalic vein is formed by the confluence of the subclavian and internal jugular veins.[1] In addition it receives drainage from:

Embryological origin[edit]

The left brachiocephalic vein forms from the anastomosis formed between the left and right anterior cardinal veins when the caudal portion of the left anterior cardinal vein degenerates.

Additional images[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gupta, Arjun; Kim, D. Nathan; Kalva, Sanjeeva; Reznik, Scott; Johnson, David H. (2020-01-01), Niederhuber, John E.; Armitage, James O.; Kastan, Michael B.; Doroshow, James H. (eds.), "53 - Superior Vena Cava Syndrome", Abeloff's Clinical Oncology (Sixth Edition), Philadelphia: Elsevier, pp. 775–785.e2, doi:10.1016/b978-0-323-47674-4.00053-0, ISBN 978-0-323-47674-4, retrieved 2020-11-20
  2. ^ Chitnis, Cumberbatch, Gankande. Practice Papers for MCEM Part A, Wiley-Blackwell 2010[page needed]
  3. ^ a b Fligner, Corinne L.; Clark, John I.; Clark, Judy M.; Larson, Lyle W.; Poole, Jeanne E. (2018-01-01), Poole, Jeanne E.; Larson, Lyle W. (eds.), "2 - Surgical Anatomy for the Implanting Physician", Surgical Implantation of Cardiac Rhythm Devices, Elsevier, pp. 13–58, doi:10.1016/b978-0-323-40126-5.00002-1, ISBN 978-0-323-40126-5, retrieved 2020-11-20
  4. ^ Mozes, GEZA; Gloviczki, PETER (2007-01-01), Bergan, John J. (ed.), "CHAPTER 2 - Venous Embryology and Anatomy", The Vein Book, Burlington: Academic Press, pp. 15–25, doi:10.1016/b978-012369515-4/50005-3, ISBN 978-0-12-369515-4, retrieved 2020-11-20
  5. ^ Long, Chandler A.; Kwolek, Christopher J.; Watkins, Michael T. (2013-01-01), Creager, Mark A.; Beckman, Joshua A.; Loscalzo, Joseph (eds.), "Chapter 61 - Vascular Trauma", Vascular Medicine: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease (Second Edition), Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, pp. 739–754, doi:10.1016/b978-1-4377-2930-6.00061-6, ISBN 978-1-4377-2930-6, retrieved 2020-11-20
  6. ^ Ryan, McNicholas & Eustace "Anatomy for Diagnostic Imaging: 3rd Edition"[page needed]