External jugular vein

The external jugular vein (EJV) drains the head, face and part of the pectoral region.

Gross anatomy


The posterior division of the retromandibular vein and posterior auricular vein unite within the parotid gland to form the external jugular vein, at the angle of the mandible.


It courses inferiorly in the subcutaneous anterolateral neck, deep to platysma but superficial to sternocleidomastoid, before piercing the deep cervical fascia (usually) posterior to the clavicular head of the sternocleidomastoid. Here it drains directly into the subclavian vein.


A handy mnemonic to recall these is PAST.

Anatomy: Head and neck

Anatomy: Head and neck

Article information

rID: 24266
Section: Anatomy
Tag: cases, refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • External jugular vein (EJV)
  • External jugular veins

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: head and neck veins
    Drag here to reorder.
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