Anterior jugular vein

The anterior jugular vein (Latin: vena jugularis anterior) is a blood vessel formed by the confluence of the superficial submandibular veins. The anterior jugular vein collects venous blood from the anterior aspect of the neck.

This vein arises near the hyoid bone, passes downwards along the midline of the neck. Further, near the attachment of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, the anterior jugular vein penetrates the cervical fascia and drains into the subclavian vein. Occasionally, it flows into the external jugular vein instead.

Frequently, at the level of the suprasternal notch the left and right anterior jugular veins are connected by a jugular venous arch.

Tributaries of anterior jugular vein

On its course, the anterior jugular vein receives the following tributaries:

  • laryngeal veins, and
  • small thyroid vein (sometimes).