Supreme intercostal vein

Supreme intercostal vein

Intercostal spaces, viewed from the left. (Highest intercostal vein labeled at upper right.)

The venæ cavæ and azygos veins, with their tributaries. (Highest intercostal labeled, very faintly, written vertically, to the right of the aortic arch.)
Drains to brachiocephalic vein
Artery intercostal arteries
Latin vena intercostalis suprema
TA A12.3.04.023
FMA 4744

Anatomical terminology

The supreme intercostal vein (highest intercostal vein) is a paired vein that drains the first intercostal space on its corresponding side.

It usually drains into the brachiocephalic vein.[1] It can also drain into the superior intercostal vein, or the vertebral vein of its corresponding side.

Clinical significance

This vein does not have valves, this is an important point when it comes to spread of cancerous secondaries.

Additional images

See also


  1. Instant Anatomy - Thorax - Vessels - Veins - Upper intercostal

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