The lingual vein (Latin: vena lingualis) is a blood vessel that arises from the union of the dorsal lingual vein and the deep lingual vein.
The lingual vein passes adjacent to the hyoglossus muscle and drains into the internal jugular vein.
The main tributaries of the lingual vein are the following:
- dorsal lingual vein,
- deep lingual vein,
- sublingual vein,
- vena comitans of hypoglossal nerve.
The dorsal lingual vein joins the lingual vein accompanying the lingual artery and near the greater cornu of the hyoid bone drains into the internal jugular vein. The dorsal lingual vein collects venous blood from the sides and dorsum of the tongue.
The deep lingual vein arises near the tip of the tongue, passes posteriorly below the mucous membrane on the inferior surface of the tongue. Further, near the anterior border of the hyoglossus, the deep lingual vein unites with the sublingual vein forming the vena comitans of the hypoglossal nerve (vena comitans nervi hypoglossi) that passes backwards and joins the facial, internal jugular, or the lingual vein.
The lingual vein collects venous blood from the muscles and mucosa of the tongue, floor of the oral cavity, and from the salivary glands.