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Natl J Maxillofac Surg. 2011 Jan;2(1):51-3. doi: 10.4103/0975-5950.85854.

Anomalous formation of external jugular vein and its clinical implication.

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Department of Anatomy, CSMMU (Erstwhile King George's Medical College), Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.



The superficial veins, especially the external jugular vein (EJV), are increasingly being utilized for cannulation to conduct diagnostic procedures or intravenous therapies. EJV is also used in microsurgical procedures,used as a recipient for the free flaps.


During routine dissection a variation was observed in the formation of EJV unilaterally on the left side.


In the anterior triangle of the neck submandibular vein joined with the anterior jugular vein to form a large venous trunk (V1). Facial vein joined this venous trunk (V1) to form another common channel (V2). The retromandibular vein divided into unusually long anterior and posterior divisions. Anterior division did not join the facial vein but drained into the common channel V2.The posterior division of retromandibular vein also drained into V2 which further continued as EJV and drained into the subclavian vein.


The knowledge of variations in the patterns of superficial veins is important for the surgeons to avoid any intraoperative error which might lead to unnecessary bleeding.


Anomalous vein; development; external jugular vein

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