Vol. 33, Nº 1
Venous arrangement of the head and neck in humans – anatomic variability and its clinical inferences
KEYWORDS: anatomic variation, retromandibular vein, facial vein, jugular vein
ABSTRACT: Introduction: The knowledge of morphological variations of the veins of the head and neck is essential for health professionals, both for diagnostic procedures as for clinical and surgical planning. This study described changes in the following structures: retromandibular vein and its divisions, including the relationship with the facial nerve, facial vein, common facial vein and jugular veins. Material and Methods: The variations of the veins were analyzed in three heads, five hemi-heads (right side) and two hemi-heads (left side) of unknown age and sex. Results: The changes only on the right side of the face were: union between the superficial temporal and maxillary veins at a lower level; absence of the common facial vein and facial vein draining into the external jugular vein. While on the left, only, it was noted: posterior division of retromandibular, after unite with the common facial vein, led to the internal jugular vein; union between the posterior auricular and common facial veins to form the external jugular and union between posterior auricular and common facial veins to terminate into internal jugular. The absence of the anterior and posterior divisions of retromandibular vein was observed on both sides of the face. Conclusion: These findings provide relevant informations about important vessels of the head and neck and will contribute to the appropriate clinical and / or surgical planning, aiming at the preservation of important structures.