Deep veins of upper limb

  • The deep veins of the upper limb lie underneath the deep fascia. The course of the deep veins corresponds to the course of the arteries. A pair of veins accompany each artery until the axillary cavity, where two brachial veins (Latin: vv. brachiales) flow into one axillary vein (Latin: v. axillaris).

    In the axilla, the axillary vein is located in a bundle of nerves and arteries most superficially and medially. It reaches the cervical region, where it continues as the subclavian vein (Latin: v. subclavia).

    The main tributaries of the axillary vein include:

    • anterior and posterior humeral circumflex veins from the surgical neck region,
    • scapular circumflex vein,
    • thoracodorsal vein,
    • lateral thoracic vein,
    • subcutaneous veins:
      • thoracoepigastric vein from the anterior and lateral trunk (this vein more often is a tributary of the lateral thoracic vein);
      • thoracoepigastric veins from the abdominal region join with the superficial epigastric veins and form an anastomosis between the superior vena cava and the inferior vena cava systems;
    • areolar venous plexus from the mammary glands,
    • cephalic vein,
    • thoracoacromial vein.