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Supraclavicular cephalic vein draining into the internal jugular vein via the external jugular vein

  • Anatomic Variations
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The aim of this study is to report rare anatomical variations of the cephalic vein (CV) in a 77-year-old Korean male cadaver.

Case report

On the right upper arm, the CV located lateral to the deltopectoral groove passed anterior to the clavicle at the lateral one-fourth of the clavicle without anastomosis to the axillary vein. It was connected to the transverse cervical and suprascapular veins by two communicating branches in the middle of its course at the neck, and opened into the external jugular vein at its junction with the internal jugular veins. The suprascapular and anterior jugular veins were flowed into the subclavian vein at the jugulo-subclavian venous confluence, and were connected by a short communicating branch.


Detailed knowledge of the variations in the CV is expected to be helpful in decreasing unpredicted injuries and possible postoperative complications when invasive venous access is performed through the CV.

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The authors express their gratitude to the body donor and the families who participated in the body donation program of the Kangwon National University School of Medicine. Results from such research can potentially increase mankind’s overall knowledge that can then improve patient care. The authors thank Kyung-Jin Lee and Soon-Jung Kim for their technical supports.


This study was supported by the Soonchunhyang University Research Fund (No. 20220446).

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Authors and Affiliations



All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Writing and revision of the anatomic part of manuscript by HSW. Writing and revision of the embryologic part of manuscript by JOS and SMN. Project development, data collection, writing—original draft, and editing by HJW. HSW and JOS are co-first authors and contributed equally to this work.

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Correspondence to Hyung-Jin Won.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. Finally, no benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject matter of the manuscript.

Ethical approval

Approval was obtained from the institutional review board of the Kangwon National University for anatomy research (approval number KWNUIRB-2022–10-005).

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Won, HS., Shin, JO., Nam, S.M. et al. Supraclavicular cephalic vein draining into the internal jugular vein via the external jugular vein. Surg Radiol Anat 45, 487–490 (2023).

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