Logo

Deep veins of upper limb

The deep veins of the upper limb lie underneath the deep fascia. The course of the deep veins corresponds to the course of the arteries. A pair of veins accompany each artery until the axillary cavity, where two brachial veins (Latin: vv. brachiales) flow into one axillary vein (Latin: v. axillaris).

In the axilla, the axillary vein is located in a bundle of nerves and arteries most superficially and medially. It reaches the cervical region, where it continues as the subclavian vein (Latin: v. subclavia).

The main tributaries of the axillary vein include:

  • anterior and posterior humeral circumflex veins from the surgical neck region,
  • scapular circumflex vein,
  • thoracodorsal vein,
  • lateral thoracic vein,
  • subcutaneous veins:
    • thoracoepigastric vein from the anterior and lateral trunk (this vein more often is a tributary of the lateral thoracic vein);
    • thoracoepigastric veins from the abdominal region join with the superficial epigastric veins and form an anastomosis between the superior vena cava and the inferior vena cava systems;
  • areolar venous plexus from the mammary glands,
  • cephalic vein,
  • thoracoacromial vein.