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External Palatine Vein (Left)
Cardiovascular System

External Palatine Vein (Left)

Vena palatina externa

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Quick Facts

Origin: Forms a paratonsillar venous plexus which covers over the fibrous capsule of the tonsil and is situated inside the paratonsillar space.

Course: Pierces the superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle to reach the pterygoid venous plexus.

Tributaries: None.

Drainage: Tonsils.

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Origin

The external palatine vein arises from the paratonsillar venous plexus that lies exterior to the fibrous capsule of the tonsil, inside the paratonsillar space. The paratonsillar plexus is formed by the tonsillar veins which travel along the fibrous septa within the lobules of the tonsil to reach the fibrous capsule.

Course

The paratonsillar space is separated from the surrounding parapharyngeal space by the pharyngobasilar fascia, the superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle, and the buccopharyngeal fascia. The external palatine vein arises from the paratonsillar (pericapsular) venous plexus and pierces through the three aforementioned structures to join the pterygoid venous plexus inside the parapharyngeal space. It may also drain into the facial or internal jugular veins or the pharyngeal plexus.

Tributaries

There are no named tributaries.

Structures Drained

The external palatine vein drains the venous blood from the tonsils.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Tonsillectomy

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Complete Anatomy

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