Author: Gordana Sendic•Reviewer: Jana VaskovićLast reviewed: September 30, 2021Reading time: 4 minutes

Brachiocephalic vein (vena brachiocephalica)

The brachiocephalic vein, likewise known as the innominate vein, is a combine vein of the premium mediastinum the drains the venous blood indigenous the head and also neck, upper limbs and the upper part of the thorax. That is developed by the confluence the the interior jugular and subclavian veins on each side, simply posterior to the sternoclavicular joint.

You are watching: Left and right brachiocephalic vein

The left and right brachiocephalic vein course in the direction of the midline and unite in ~ the level the the worse border the the first right costal cartilage to type the superior vena cava.

Key facts about the brachiocephalic vein
Drains fromConfluence the subclavian and also internal jugular veins
TributariesInferior thyroid veins, posterior intercostal veins of the 1st intercostal space, thymic veins, inner thoracic veins
Drains toSuperior vena cava
Drainage areaHead, neck, top limb, top thorax

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the brachiocephalic vein.


The left and right brachiocephalic veins start posteriorly to the particular left and right sternoclavicular joints, occurring from the union of the inner jugular and also subclavian veins. This union is frequently referred to as the venous angle, in i beg your pardon the thoracic duct on the left, and right lymphatic tribe on the appropriate side drain the lymph right into the venous circulation. Thus, the brachiocephalic vein is understood as the site of convergence the the venous and lymphatic systems.

The left brachiocephalic vein process obliquely downwards and also medially, measuring around 6 to 8 centimeters in length. ~ above its course, the left brachiocephalic vein is related posteriorly to the trachea, left phrenic and also left vagus nerves, left inner thoracic artery and also the three major branches that the arch that the aorta; the brachiocephalic trunk, typical carotid and the left subclavian artery. Anteriorly, the left brachiocephalic vein is in contact, and also partially embedded in the thymus gland, and separated native the sternoclavicular joint by the sternohyoid and sternothyroid muscles. The left brachiocephalic vein at first courses nearby to the medial surface of the apex that the left lung and is overlapped by the right pleura close to its termination.

The right brachiocephalic vein has actually a shorter and a more vertical course, being roughly 2 centimeters long. It runs anterolateral come the brachiocephalic trunk and right vagus nerve. In its early course, the right brachiocephalic vein is found anterior to the best pleura, phrenic nerve and also internal thoracic artery, while later on in its food it transforms to your medial side.

in ~ the level of the inferior border of the 1st right costal cartilage, the left and right brachiocephalic veins converge to form the superior vena cava, which go on to drain into the ideal atrium the the heart.

Tributaries and drainage area

The left and also right brachiocephalic veins receive various tributaries. Via these tributaries, the brachiocephalic veins get venous blood native the head, neck, top limb, and also the upper part of the thorax.

Left brachiocephalic vein


The tributaries the the left brachiocephalic vein room the left vertebral, inner thoracic, inferior thyroid and also superior intercostal veins. In addition, it often receives the thymic, can be fried intercostal, pericardiacophrenic and the left posterior intercostal vein the the 1st intercostal space.

right brachiocephalic vein

The tributaries the the right brachiocephalic vein room the right vertebral, internal thoracic and inferior thyroid veins, and also occasionally the best posterior intercostal vein that the first intercostal space.



Moore, K. L., Dalley, A. F., & Agur, A. M. R. (2014). Clinically Oriented Anatomy (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Netter, F. (2019). Atlas of person Anatomy (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.Standring, S. (2016). Gray"s Anatomy (41tst ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.Sinnatamby, C. S., & Last, R. J. (2011). Last"s anatomy: regional and applied. (12th edition). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M., Loukas, M., & Bergman, R. A. (2016). Bergmans comprehensive encyclopedia of person anatomic variation. Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell.


Brachiocephalic vein (vena brachiocephalica) - Yousun Koh

Brachiocephalic vein (Innominate vein): desire to learn an ext about it?

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