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Subclavian vein

The subclavian vein (Latin: vena subclavia) is a large blood vessel that arises from the axillary vein. It is one of the deep veins of the neck.

The subclavian vein originates at the outer border of the first rib. It travels within the subclavian groove, then runs laterally to the medial border of the anterior scalene. At this point, the subclavian vein joins with the internal jugular vein to form the brachiocephalic vein.

The main tributaries of the subclavian vein are:

  • external jugular vein,
  • dorsal scapular vein,
  • anterior jugular veins (occasionally).

The right subclavian vein receives the right lymphatic duct, while the left subclavian vein receives the thoracic duct.

The subclavian veins collect deoxygenated blood from the upper extremities and the pectoral (shoulder) girdle.