external jugular; internal jugular; superficial; thyroid vein; vein
The venous drainage of the neck can be characterized into superficial or deep. Superficial drainage refers to the venous drainage of the subcutaneous tissues, which are drained by the anterior and external jugular veins (EJVs). The brain, face, and neck structures are mainly drained by the internal jugular vein (IJV). The superficial veins are found deep to the platysma muscle while the deep veins are found encased in the carotid sheath. The junction of the retromandibular vein and the posterior auricular vein usually form the EJV, which continues along to drain into the subclavian vein. The anterior jugular vein is usually formed by the submandibular veins, travels downward anterior to the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM), and drains either into the EJV or the subclavian vein. Other superficial veins of the neck to consider are the superior, middle, and inferior thyroid veins. The superior thyroid and middle thyroid veins drain into the IJV whereas the inferior thyroid vein usually drains into the brachiocephalic veins.
Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)
Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Dalip, Dominic; Iwanaga, Joe; Loukas, Marios; Oskouian, Rod J; and Tubbs, R Shane, "Review of the Variations of the Superficial Veins of the Neck." (2018). Articles, Abstracts, and Reports. 583.