Supraclavicular lymph nodes

The supraclavicular lymph nodes are a paired group of lymph nodes located on either side in the hollow of clavicle close to where sternum joins it. It is the final common pathway of the lymphatic system as it joins the central venous system. They oversee transport of the lymph from the thoracic cavity and abdomen.

Specific to the right supraclavicular lymph node is the drainage of the mid-section of the chest, oesophagus, and lungs.

The left supraclavicular lymph node, known as Virchow node, drains via the thoracic duct, the abdomen, and thorax. It is the junction where incoming lymph is introduced back in the venous circulation through the left subclavian vein.

Some malignancies such as lung, head and neck, breast, oesophageal, gastric, pancreatic, gynecologic, and prostate cancers have a propensity to metastasize to supraclavicular lymph nodes. Troisier sign is the name given to a left supraclavicular lymphadenopathy, highly suggestive of abdominal malignancy.

Head and neck anatomy

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