Left superior intercostal vein
Citation, DOI and article data
Origin and course
The left superior intercostal vein forms by the union of the 2nd to 4th left posterior intercostal veins. It courses superiorly to the left of the midline, arches posteriorly lateral to the aortic arch to drain into the left brachiocephalic vein.
It typically communicates with the accessory hemiazygos vein.
- left 2nd to 4th posterior intercostal veins
- may not communicate with the accessory hemiazygos (25%) 1
- left azygos (or hemiazygos) lobe may be caused by an aberrant left superior intercostal vein (analogous to the azygos lobe) 1
- hemiazygos and accessory hemiazygos veins may drain directly into the left brachiocephalic vein via the left superior intercostal vein 1
- may be enlarged in the presence of congenital azygos, hemiazygos or accessory hemiazygos vein absence (rare)
- 1. Demos TC, Posniak HV, Pierce KL et-al. Venous anomalies of the thorax. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004;182 (5): 1139-50. doi:10.2214/ajr.182.5.1821139 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Padovan RS, Paar MH, Aurer I. (Mis)placed central venous catheter in the left superior intercostal vein. Radiol Oncol. 2011;45 (1): 27-30. doi:10.2478/v10019-010-0043-7 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 3. Clinically Oriented Pulmonary Imaging. Humana Press. ISBN:1617795410. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon