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Posterior Jugular Vein
Cardiovascular System

Posterior Jugular Vein

Vena jugularis posterior

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Quick Facts

Origin: Occipital region of the scalp.

Course: Passes superficially over the posterior triangle to drain into the external jugular vein.

Tributaries: None.

Drainage: Scalp overlying the occipital region.

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The posterior jugular vein forms from the confluence of several superficial veins in the occipital region of the scalp.


The posterior jugular vein descends obliquely along the anterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, then passes superficially over the posterior triangle of the neck. It usually drains into the external jugular vein, by may drain into the internal jugular vein, jugular venous arch, or brachiocephalic vein.


There are no named tributaries.

Structures Drained

The posterior jugular vein drains venous blood from skin, subcutaneous tissue, and superficial muscles in the posterosuperior neck and posterior scalp region.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Jugular Vein

ScienceDirect image

swelling of the jugular vein or veins of the neck, upper extremities, and thorax (can be attributable to compression from a mediastinal tumor or aneurysm)

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

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