Superficial temporal vein

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 16 Feb 2024

The superficial temporal vein arises in a plexus on the side and vertex of the skull and, in the substance of the parotid gland, joins with the maxillary vein to form the retromandibular vein.

Gross anatomy

The superficial temporal vein originates from a venous plexus on the side and vertex of the skull which is in communication with the frontal and supraorbital veins, with the superficial temporal vein of the opposite side, and with the posterior auricular and occipital veins 3. Frontal and parietal branches arise from this plexus and unite above the zygomatic arch to form the trunk of the vein 3. The vein is joined by the middle temporal vein and then crosses the posterior root of the zygomatic arch, in front of the auricle and enters the parotid gland to join the maxillary vein in forming the retromandibular vein 1-3.

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