Brachiocephalic vein

Dr Aditya Shetty and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Brachiocephalic veins (BCV) drain the head, neck, upper limbs and part of the thorax and mediastinum.

Gross anatomy

Origin

In the root of the neck, the internal jugular and subclavian veins unite to form the brachiocephalic veins posterior to the medial ends of the clavicles.

Course

The left brachiocephalic runs a long, oblique course to unite with the right brachiocephalic vein posterior to the first sternocostal joint to form the superior vena cava. The right brachiocephalic vein runs a vertical course.

Tributaries
Relations
  • anteriorly: pleura, upper lobes, thymus, manubrium
  • posteriorly: aortic arch (left BCV), great vessels, the dome of the pleura

Thoracic anatomy
Share article

Article Information

rID: 24463
Systems: Chest, Vascular
Section: Anatomy
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Brachiocephalic veins
  • Brachiocephalic vein (BCV)
  • Innominate vein
  • Innominate veins

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and Figures

  • Drag
    Case 1: contrast refluxing into a thymic vein
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.
    Loadinganimation

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.