Axillary vein
Anterior view of right upper limb and thorax - axillary vein and the distal part of the basilic vein and cephalic vein.
Drains fromaxilla
Sourcebasilic vein, brachial veins, cephalic vein
Drains tosubclavian vein
Arteryaxillary artery
Latinvena axillaris
Anatomical terminology

In human anatomy, the axillary vein is a large blood vessel that conveys blood from the lateral aspect of the thorax, axilla (armpit) and upper limb toward the heart. There is one axillary vein on each side of the body.


Its origin is at the lower margin of the teres major muscle and a continuation of the brachial vein.[1]

This large vein is formed by the brachial vein and the basilic vein.[2] At its terminal part, it is also joined by the cephalic vein.[3] Other tributaries include the subscapular vein, circumflex humeral vein, lateral thoracic vein and thoraco-acromial vein.[4] It terminates at the lateral margin of the first rib, at which it becomes the subclavian vein.[1]

It is accompanied along its course by a similarly named artery, the axillary artery, which lies laterally to the axillary vein.[5]

Additional images


  1. ^ a b Baker, Champ L.; Baker, Champ L. (January 1, 2009), Wilk, Kevin E.; Reinold, Michael M.; Andrews, James R. (eds.), "CHAPTER 27 - Neurovascular Compression Syndromes of the Shoulder", The Athlete's Shoulder (Second Edition), Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone, pp. 325–335, doi:10.1016/b978-044306701-3.50030-x, ISBN 978-0-443-06701-3, retrieved November 3, 2020
  2. ^ Moore, Keith L. et al. (2010) Clinically Oriented Anatomy, 6th Ed, p.718
  3. ^ Moore, Keith L. et al. (2010) Clinically Oriented Anatomy, 6th Ed, p.718
  4. ^ Moore, Keith L. et al. (2010) Clinically Oriented Anatomy, 6th Ed, fig.6.16
  5. ^ Gray, Andrew T., ed. (January 1, 2019), "Chapter 32 - Infraclavicular Block", Atlas of Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia (Third Edition), Elsevier, pp. 93–103, doi:10.1016/b978-0-323-50951-0.00032-3, ISBN 978-0-323-50951-0, S2CID 382483, retrieved November 3, 2020