Venous drainage of the thoracic wall
Citation, DOI, disclosures and article data
At the time the article was created Owen Kang had no recorded disclosures.View Owen Kang's current disclosures
The venous drainage of the thoracic wall drains deoxygenated venous blood from the periphery of the thoracic cage back into the systemic circulation.
Anterior thoracic wall
Anterior intercostal veins
Posterior thoracic wall
Posterior intercostal veins
The posterior intercostal veins originate from the intercostal space just inferior to posterior aspects of their respective ribs. In the right side, the 4th to 11th posterior intercostal veins and subcostal vein drain into the azygos vein. The 4th to 7th (sometimes 8th) left-sided posterior intercostal veins drain into the accessory hemiazygos vein. The 8th to 11th left-sided posterior intercostal and subcostal veins drain into the hemiazygos vein.
Supreme intercostal vein
Superior intercostal vein
The posterior 2nd and 3rd intercostal spaces are drained by their respective posterior intercostal veins into a single vessel, the superior intercostal vein. The right superior intercostal vein drains inferiorly into the azygos vein, while the left drains superiorly into the left brachiocephalic vein.
the superior intercostal veins may additionally drain the 4th intercostal space
the accessory hemiazygos vein may drain the left 8th intercostal space posteriorly
- 1. Macéa, J. R., & Fregnani, J. H. T. G. (2006). Anatomy of the thoracic wall, axilla and breast. International Journal of Morphology, 24(4), 691-704. https://doi.org/10.4067/S0717-95022006000500030. https://doi.org/10.4067/S0717-95022006000500030
- 2. Chummy S. Sinnatamby. Last's Anatomy. (2020) ISBN: 9780702033957
- 3. Susan Standring. Gray's Anatomy E-Book. (2015) ISBN: 9780702068515