Lingual vein

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 09 Dec 2021

The lingual vein is formed by the sublingual, deep lingual, and dorsal lingual veins 1. It is a paired vein draining the tongue.

Gross anatomy

The lingual veins accompany the lingual artery between the hyoglossus and genioglossus and enters the internal jugular vein near the greater horn of the hyoid bone 3. The dorsal lingual vein, which drains the dorsum and sides of the tongue, joins the lingual vein.

The lingual vein is variably joined by the vena comitans nervi hyoglossi (vein accompanying the hypoglossal nerve), which is formed from the sublingual and deep lingual veins.

The deep lingual vein begins at the apex of the tongue and courses down its ventral surface, superficial to the hyoglossus, where it can be seen on visual inspection 1. The sublingual vein, which drains the floor of mouth and sublingual gland, then joins the deep lingual and forms the vena comitans nervi hypoglossi 4. This vein variably drains into the lingual, facial, or internal jugular veins.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: tongue vessels (Gray's illustration)
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