brachiocephalic veins (anatomy)

Last reviewed 01/2018

The brachiocephalic veins, previously termed the innominate veins, are major vessels returning venous blood to the right side of the heart within the superior mediastinum. There are two main vessels which form superiorly from the confluence of internal jugular veins and subclavian veins on each side:

  • right brachiocephalic vein
  • left brachiocephalic vein

Both veins merge inferiorly to form the superior vena cava.