Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Elsevier
Publish with us
Left Brachiocephalic Vein
Cardiovascular System

Left Brachiocephalic Vein

Vena brachiocephalica sinistra

Read more

Quick Facts

Origin: Union of left internal jugular and subclavian veins.

Course: Descends obliquely to the right to join the right brachiocephalic vein.

Tributaries: Left vertebral, internal thoracic, pericardiacophrenic, supreme intercostal, superior intercostal, mediastinal, and inferior thyroid veins, the thymic veins, and the thoracic duct.

Drainage: Head, neck, and upper limbs.

Complete Anatomy
The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform
Try it for Free

Origin

The left brachiocephalic vein is formed by the union of the left subclavian and internal. Jugular veins at the root of the neck, posterior to the sternal end of the clavicle.

Course

From its origin, the left brachiocephalic vein descends obliquely to the right across the superior mediastinum, anterior to the branches of the arch of aorta (the brachiocephalic, common carotid, and subclavian arteries), left vagus and phrenic nerves, and the trachea; and posterior to the manubrium of the sternum, thymus, and the sternothyroid and sternohyoid muscles. As it reaches the sternal end of the first costal cartilage, it unites with the right brachiocephalic vein, thus forming the superior vena cava.

Since the left brachiocephalic vein crosses from left to right across the midline, it is more than twice the length of the right brachiocephalic vein.

Tributaries

Tributaries of the left brachiocephalic vein include the left vertebral, internal thoracic, pericardiacophrenic, supreme intercostal, superior intercostal, mediastinal, inferior thyroid, and thymic veins. The left brachiocephalic vein also receives the thoracic duct.

Structures Drained

The brachiocephalic veins drain blood from the head, neck, and upper limbs.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Brachiocephalic Vein

ScienceDirect image

A case of right brachiocephalic vein recanalization shows a radiofrequency wire passed from an inferiorly-located catheter and sheath , across the occlusion, and into a superiorly-located snare advanced through an upper extremity sheath .

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy