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Brachiocephalic Vein: Amazing Key Points You Should Know About
Did you ever hear about the brachiocephalic vein?. As in our previous articles were about cephalic vein and basilic vein, if you have read our previous article then you guys have an idea about this. But if not so don’t worry we will give an amazing article for you on this platform. This article will let you know about the anatomy of the brachiocephalic veins, courses, termination, and drainage, etc.
We agree that medical students have known about brachiocephalic vein, it might be difficult for the layman to understand more rapidly as compared to medical students but it’s not impossible for you. If you are interested in the anatomy of your body then this article is for you.
What is a Brachiocephalic Vein?
The brachiocephalic vein is also called the innominate vein and is a paired vein of the superior mediastinum that removes the venous blood from the head and neck, upper limbs, and thorax. The left and right brachiocephalic veins combine to appear the superior vena cava on the right view of the upper chest. The left vein is usually longer than the right one.
The Function of A Brachiocephalic Vein:
The brachiocephalic veins are made by the convergence of the subclavian vein and internal jugular vein on the right and left. These vessels are valveless. These vessels are a vital element of the circulatory system which helps in the drainage of deoxygenated blood from the head and upper limbs. The right brachiocephalic vein length is about 2 to 3 cm, while the left measures approximately 6 cm.
- The primary function of the brachiocephalic veins is to help in carrying deoxygenated blood from the circulation back to the right side of the heart.
- Blood from the head drains through the internal jugular veins.
- Blood from the upper extremities clears out by the subclavian veins.
Anatomy of The Brachiocephalic Vein
Origin and Course of the Vein:
The internal jugular and subclavian veins merge to form the brachiocephalic veins behind the medial points of the clavicles in the neck root. The left and right brachiocephalic veins originate posteriorly to the particular left and right sternoclavicular joints.
Left Brachiocephalic Vein:
The left brachiocephalic vein is approximately 6 cm long including ways a deep oblique course to the right via the superior mediastinum anterior to the tributaries of the aortic arch to combine with the right brachiocephalic vein posterior to the primary sternocostal joint to make the superior vena cava. The left brachiocephalic vein initially courses near to the medial surface of the apex of the left lung and is converged by the right pleura close to its end.
Right Brachiocephalic Vein:
The branches of the left brachiocephalic vein are the left vertebral, internal thoracic, inferior thyroid, and superior intercostal veins. It runs a vertical course anterior to the brachiocephalic trunk and vagus nerve. It shifts the superior vena cava as it is connected from the left by the left brachiocephalic vein which drains into the right atrium of the heart. The right brachiocephalic vein is formed at the anterior to the right pleura, phrenic nerve, and internal thoracic artery.
Branches of Left Brachiocephalic Vein:
The left and right brachiocephalic veins collect many branches. Brachiocephalic veins receive venous blood from the head, neck, upper limb, and the upper part of the thorax by certain branches.
The branches of the right brachiocephalic vein are:
- right vertebral vein
- right inferior thyroid vein
- right internal thoracic vein
- right supreme intercostal vein
The branches of the left brachiocephalic vein are:
- left vertebral vein
- left inferior thyroid vein
- left internal thoracic vein
- left supreme intercostal vein
- left superior intercostal vein
- thymic veins
- pericardiophrenic veins
Layers & Relation of A Brachiocephalic Vein:
The vein consists of many coverings:
- An outer layer called adventitia is formed by connective tissue
- The middle layer called tunica media which is made up of smooth muscle cells
- The inner layer called tunica intima is made with endothelial cells
The right brachiocephalic vein has a relationship with the following;
- The cartilage of the first rib
- The infrahyoid muscles (sternothyroid)
- The phrenic nerve
- The cranial nerve vagus
- Parietal pleura
- Brachiocephalic arterial trunk
The left brachiocephalic vein has a relationship with the following;
- The medial epiphysis of the clavicle
- The infrahyoid muscles (sternothyroid and sternohyoid)
- Retrosternal fat
The brachiocephalic vein is also called the innominate vein and is a paired vein of the superior mediastinum that removes the venous blood from the head and neck, upper limbs, and thorax. The drainage area of the brachiocephalic vein is the head, neck, upper limb, and upper thorax. The brachiocephalic vein drains into the superior vena cava. The left and right brachiocephalic veins collect many branches which are mentioned above. So we have mentioned the anatomy of the brachiocephalic vein in this article.
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