Anterior jugular vein

The anterior jugular vein is a vein in the neck. It begins near the hyoid bone by the confluence of several superficial veins from the submandibular region.[1]

It descends between the median line and the anterior border of the sternocleidomastoideus muscle, and, at the lower part of the neck, passes beneath that muscle to open into the termination of the external jugular vein, or, in some instances, into the subclavian vein.[1]

It varies considerably in size, bearing usually an inverse proportion to the external jugular; most frequently there are two anterior jugulars, a right and left; but sometimes only one.[1]

Its tributaries are some laryngeal veins, and occasionally a small thyroid vein.[1]

Just above the sternum the two anterior jugular veins communicate by a transverse trunk, the venous jugular arch, which receive tributaries from the inferior thyroid veins; each also communicates with the internal jugular.[1]

There are no valves in this vein.[1]

Anterior jugular vein
The veins of the neck, viewed from in front
(anterior jugular visible at center)
Veins of the head and neck
(anterior jugular visible at bottom right)
Drains toExternal jugular vein
LatinVena jugularis anterior[1]
Anatomical terminology

Additional images


Section of the neck at about the level of the sixth cervical vertebra.


Veins of the neck and chest


  1. ^ a b c d e f g One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text in the public domain from page 647 of  the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)
Common carotid artery

In anatomy, the left and right common carotid arteries (carotids) (English: ) are arteries that supply the head and neck with oxygenated blood; they divide in the neck to form the external and internal carotid arteries.

Common facial vein

The Facial vein usually unites with the anterior branch of the Retromandibular vein to form the Common Facial Vein, which crosses the external carotid artery and enters the internal jugular vein at a variable point below the hyoid bone.

From near its termination a communicating branch often runs down the anterior border of the Sternocleidomastoideus to join the lower part of the anterior jugular vein.

The common facial vein is not present in all individuals.

External jugular vein

The external jugular vein receives the greater part of the blood from the exterior of the cranium and the deep parts of the face, being formed by the junction of the posterior division of the retromandibular vein with the posterior auricular vein.

Jugular vein

The jugular veins are veins that take deoxygenated blood from the head back to the heart via the superior vena cava.


The neck is the part of the body, on many vertebrates, that separates the head from the torso. It contains blood vessels and nerves that supply structures in the head to the body. These in humans include part of the esophagus, the larynx, trachea, and thyroid gland, major blood vessels including the carotid arteries and jugular veins, and the top part of the spinal cord.

In anatomy, the neck is also called by its Latin names, cervix or collum, although when used alone, in context, the word cervix more often refers to the uterine cervix, the neck of the uterus. Thus the adjective cervical may refer either to the neck (as in cervical vertebrae or cervical lymph nodes) or to the uterine cervix (as in cervical cap or cervical cancer).

Outline of human anatomy

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to human anatomy:

Human anatomy – scientific study of the morphology of the adult human. It is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy (also called topographical anatomy, regional anatomy, or anthropotomy) is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by unaided vision. Microscopic anatomy is the study of minute anatomical structures assisted with microscopes, and includes histology (the study of the organization of tissues), and cytology (the study of cells).

Subclavian artery

In human anatomy, the subclavian arteries are paired major arteries of the upper thorax, below the clavicle. They receive blood from the aortic arch. The left subclavian artery supplies blood to the left arm and the right subclavian artery supplies blood to the right arm, with some branches supplying the head and thorax. On the left side of the body, the subclavian comes directly off the aortic arch, while on the right side it arises from the relatively short brachiocephalic artery when it bifurcates into the subclavian and the right common carotid artery.

The usual branches of the subclavian on both sides of the body are the vertebral artery, the internal thoracic artery, the thyrocervical trunk, the costocervical trunk and the dorsal scapular artery, which may branch off the transverse cervical artery which is a branch of the thyrocervical trunk. The subclavian becomes the axillary artery at the lateral border of the first rib.

Submental triangle

The submental triangle (or suprahyoid triangle) is a division of the anterior triangle of the neck.

Superficial anterior cervical lymph nodes

The superficial anterior cervical lymph nodes are found in proximity to the anterior jugular vein.

Superficial cervical lymph nodes

The superficial cervical lymph nodes are lymph nodes that lie near the surface of the neck.

Some sources state simply that they lie along the external jugular vein, while other sources state that they are only adjacent to the external jugular vein in the posterior triangle, and they are adjacent to the anterior jugular vein in the anterior triangle.They can be broken down into:

superficial anterior cervical lymph nodes

superficial lateral cervical lymph nodes

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