Internal jugular vein

The internal jugular vein (Latin: vena jugularis interna) is a blood vessel that arises from the junction of two intracranial venous sinuses - the inferior petrosal sinus and the sigmoid sinus.

The internal jugular vein arises at the cranial base in the jugular foramen. Further, the vein passes inferiorly within the carotid sheath situated anterolateral to the carotid artery. At the level of the sternoclavicular joint, the internal jugular vein units with the subclavian vein to form the brachiocephalic vein.

On its course, the internal jugular vein receives several tributaries, including:

  • inferior petrosal sinus,
  • pharyngeal vein,
  • common facial vein,
  • lingual vein,
  • superior thyroid vein,
  • middle thyroid vein,
  • occipital vein.

The internal jugular vein collects venous blood from the brain, skull, and superficial parts of the face and neck.