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The axillary vein and its tributaries are not in the mirror image of the axillary artery and its branches

 HyeYeon Lee  ;  JongHo Bang  ;  SooJung Kim  ;  HeeJun Yang 
 PLOS ONE, Vol.14(1) : e0210464, 2019 
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INTRODUCTION: The axillary and cephalic veins are used for various clinical purposes but their anatomy is not fully understood. Increased knowledge and information about them as well as superficial veins in the upper arm would be useful.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to contribute to the literature regarding the anatomy of the venous drainage of the upper extremity.

METHODS: The veins of forty upper extremities from twenty one adult cadavers were injected and their axillary regions dissected. The course and pattern of drainage of the venous tributaries in the axillary region were identified and recorded.

RESULTS: The basilic, brachial, subscapular, lateral thoracic and superior thoracic veins drained mainly into the axillary vein, in common with most textbook descriptions. However, the thoracoacromial veins were observed to drain into the cephalic vein in 70.0% of upper limbs. In addition, a venous channel connecting the distal part and proximal part of the axilla was found along the posterolateral wall of the axilla in 77.5% of the upper limbs. In 95.0% of upper limbs, we discovered a superficial vein which ran from the axillary base and drained directly into the axillary vein.

CONCLUSION: The veins from the inferomedial part of the axilla drain into the axillary vein, whereas the veins from the superolateral part of the axilla drain into the cephalic vein. The venous drainage of the axilla is variable and in common with venous drainage elsewhere, does not necessarily follow the pattern of the arterial supply.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Anatomy (해부학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Lee, Hye Yeon(이혜연) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6945-1967
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