Superior intercostal vein
Intercostal spaces, viewed from the left
SourcePosterior intercostal veins #2, #3, and #4
Drains toAzygos vein, brachiocephalic vein
ArteryIntercostal arteries
Latinvena intercostalis superior dextra,
vena intercostalis superior sinistra
TA24749, 4798
Anatomical terminology

The superior intercostal veins are two veins that drain the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th intercostal spaces, one vein for each side of the body.

Right superior intercostal vein

The right superior intercostal vein drains the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th posterior intercostal veins on the right side of the body. It flows into the azygos vein.[1][2]

Left superior intercostal vein

The left superior intercostal vein drains the 2nd and 3rd posterior intercostal veins on the left side of the body. It usually drains into the left brachiocephalic vein.[1][2] It may also communicate with the accessory hemiazygos vein.[2]

As it passes posteriorly above the aortic arch, it crosses deep to the phrenic nerve and the pericardiacophrenic vessels and then superficial to the vagus nerve.

See also


  1. ^ a b Badiei, Arash; Gregor, Alexander; Yasufuku, Kazuhiro; Lee, Y. C. Gary (2019-01-01), "Pleural Effusion: Hemothorax", Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences, Elsevier, doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-801238-3.11383-2, ISBN 978-0-12-801238-3, retrieved 2020-11-23
  2. ^ a b c Mozes, GEZA; Gloviczki, PETER (2007-01-01), Bergan, John J. (ed.), "CHAPTER 2 - Venous Embryology and Anatomy", The Vein Book, Burlington: Academic Press, pp. 15–25, doi:10.1016/b978-012369515-4/50005-3, ISBN 978-0-12-369515-4, retrieved 2020-11-23