Archives of Head and Neck Surgery
Archives of Head and Neck Surgery
Original Article NECK DISSECTION

Anatomy of the anterior jugular veins: anatomical study of 30 cadavers

Flávio Carneiro Hojaij, Lesley Mirian de Paula Santos, Raquel Ajub Moyses, Bruna Dos Santos Souza, Flávia Emi Akamatsu, Bruna Brasil Carneiro Costa, Lucas Albuquerque Chinelatto, Alfredo Luiz Jacomo

Downloads: 2
Views: 424


Introduction: Human anatomy is essential for both clinical and surgical practice. Although the anterior jugular veins (AJVs) are of great importance in many surgeries, there are few studies addressing the anatomic variations of these vessels. This study highlights the venous drainage of the head and neck and the importance of anatomical variations in the AJVs. Objective: To observe and describe the anatomy of the jugular veins and evaluate whether there are patterns influenced by anthropometric factors or comorbidities. Methods: Neck dissections were performed on 30 cadavers. The anatomical characteristics of the AJVs were described considering diameter, midline distance, anastomosis, and presence of the jugular venous arch. Results: Cadavers of 14 women and 16 men were dissected. Ninety percent (90%) of the jugular veins had a rectilinear path and 37% presented anastomosis: H-shaped (63.7%),N-shaped (27.3% ), and Y-shaped (9%). In relation to the number of veins, 20% of the cadavers had only one AJV, 63.3% had two, 10% had three, and 6.7% presented a total of four. Mean distance between jugular veins was 12 mm, and most veins (60%) had a diameter <5 mm. There was no statistically significant correlation between anatomical variations and anthropometric factors. Conclusion: AJVs were always present in the dissected cadavers, and the configuration most commonly found was two veins, each <5 mm in diameter. They were less than 10 mm away from the cervical midline and, when they presented anastomosis, it was H-shaped in most cases.


anatomy; jugular veins; neck dissection.


1. Paraskevas G, Natsis K, Ioannidis O, Kitsoulis P, Anastasopoulos N, Spyridakis I. Multiple variations of the superficial jugular veins case report and clinical relevance. Acta Medica (Hradec Kralove). 2014;57(1):34-7. http://dx.doi. org/10.14712/18059694.2014.7. PMid:25006662.

2. Drake RL, Vogl AW, Mitchell AWM. Cabeça e pescoço. In: Drake RL, Vogl AW, Mitchell AWM, editors. Gray’s: anatomia clínica para estudantes. 3rd ed. Rio de Janeiro: Elsevier; 2015. p. 837-1129.

3. Moore KL, Dalley AF, Agur MRA. Pescoço. In: Moore KL, Dalley AF, Agur MRA, editors. Anatomia orientada para a clínica. 5. ed. Rio de Janeiro: GuanabaraKoogan; 2007. p. 970-1032.

4. Nayak BS. Surgically important variations of the jugular veins. Clin Anat. 2006;19(6):544-6. PMid:16372344.

5. Karapantzos I, Zarogoulidis P, Charalampidis C, Karapantzou C, Kioumis I, Tsakiridis K, Mpakas A, Sachpekidis N, Organtzis J, Porpodis K, Zarogoulidis K, Pitsiou G, Zissimopoulos A, Kosmidis C, Fouka E, Demetriou T. A rare case of anastomosis beetween the external and internal jugular veins. Int Med Case Rep J. 2016;9:73-5. PMid:27051321.

6. Schummer W, Schummer C, Bredle D, Fröber R. The anterior jugular venous system: variability and clinical impact. Anesth Analg. 2004;99(6):1625-9. http:// PMid:15562044.

7. Shenoy V, Saraswathi P, Raghunath G, Karthik JS. Double external jugular vein and other rare venous variations of the head and neck. Singapore Med J. 2012;53(12):e251-3. PMid:23268166.

8. Hojaij FC, Kogima RO, Moyses RA, Akamatsu FE, Jacomo AL. Morphometry and frequency of the pyramidalis muscle in adult humans: a pyramidalis Muscle’s anatomical analysis. Clinics (São Paulo). 2020;75:e1623. clinics/2020/e1623. PMid:32667491.

9. Barros ACSD, Mori LJ, Nishimura D, Jacomo AL. Surgical anatomy of the internal thoracic lymph nodes in fresh human cadavers: basis for sentinel node biopsy. World J Surg Oncol. 2016;14(1):135. PMid:27129460.

10. Saleh SO, Hojaij FC, Itezeroti AM, Camargo CP, Saleh KS, Andrade MFC, Akamatsu FE, Jacomo AL. Level VI lymph nodes: an anatomic study of lymph nodes located between the recurrent laryngeal nerve and the right common carotid artery. Rev Col Bras Cir. 2018;45(6):e1972. PMid:30517357.

Submitted date:

Accepted date:

62eafa3da9539521d82be0f3 archives Articles
Links & Downloads

Arch. Head Neck Surg.

Share this page
Page Sections