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 the sternoclavicular joint. It is the final common pathway of the lymphatic system as it joins the central venous system. They oversee the transport of 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, abdomen, and thorax. It is the junction where incoming lymph is introduced back into 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 metastasise to supraclavicular lymph nodes. Troisier sign is the name given to left-sided supraclavicular lymphadenopathy, highly suggestive of abdominal malignancy.

Anatomy: Head and neck
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Article information

rID: 15432
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Supraclavicular lymph node
  • Supra-clavicular lymph nodes
  • Supraclavicular lymphadenopathy

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: right supraclavicular nodal metastases
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    Case 2: right supraclavicular necrotic metastases
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