Connection lost. Please refresh the page.
EN | DE | PT | ES Get help How to study Login Register

Main veins of the head and neck: want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

What do you prefer to learn with?

“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

Main veins of the head and neck

Learning outcomes

After going through this study unit, you will be able to:

1. Identify the main veins that drain the head and neck.
2. Learn the main tributaries of those veins and which areas they drain.

Watch videos

The head and neck are drained by three major paired venous vessels: internal jugular, brachiocephalic, and subclavian veins.

  • Internal jugular vein drains the majority of the face, brain and neck, which is why it's considered to be the principal vein of the head and neck regions.
  • Brachiocephalic veins arise from the confluence of the same sided internal jugular and subclavian veins. The left and right brachiocephalic veins merge to form the superior vena cava that conveys all the venous blood from the head and neck directly into the right atrium of the heart.
  • Subclavian vein primarily drains the upper limb, but it also collects the blood from the smaller jugular and vertebral veins.

This video tutorial will provide you with an overview of the main veins of the head and neck.

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched the videos about the main veins of the head and neck, solidify your knowledge by taking our quiz.

You can now choose the topics you’ll get quizzed on, try out our customizable quiz:

Browse atlas

Browse our atlas gallery to learn more about the pathways and locations of the main veins of the head and neck.


Key points about the main veins of the head and neck
Main veins that drain head and neck Internal jugular vein, subclavian vein, brachiocephalic vein
Internal jugular vein Main tributaries: Inferior petrosal sinus, sigmoid sinus, meningeal veins, pharyngeal venous plexus, common facial vein, superior and middle thyroid veins
Drainage area
: Brain, skull, oral cavity, superficial structures of face and neck
Brachiocephalic vein Main tributaries: Internal jugular vein, subclavian vein, vertebral vein, internal thoracic vein
Drainage area
: Head, neck, upper limb, upper thorax
Subclavian vein Main tributaries: Anterior jugular vein, external jugular vein, veins of the upper limb
Drainage area
: Upper limb, small portions of the neck

Well done!

Related articles

Continue your learning

Now that you're familiar with the general organization and function of the veins of the head and neck continue your learning by reading about the arteries and nerves of the head and neck.

Register now and grab your free ultimate anatomy study guide!