Absence of retromandibular vein associated with atypical formation of external jugular vein in the parotid region

Jyothsna Patil, Naveen Kumar, Ravindra S. Swamy, Melanie R. D'Souza, Anitha Guru, Satheesha B. Nayak

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Veins of the head and neck exhibiting anatomical variations or malformations are clinically significant. Anatomical variation in the external jugular vein is very common. However, anatomical variation in the retromandibular vein is rare. In this paper, we report a rare case of complete absence of the retromandibular vein. In the absence of the retromandibular vein, the maxillary vein divided into anterior and posterior divisions. The posterior division joined the superficial temporal vein to form an atypical external jugular vein, and the anterior division joined the facial vein to form an anonymous vein. In clinical practice, radiologists and surgeons use the retromandibular vein as a guide to expose the branches of the facial nerve during superficial parotidectomy. Therefore, absence of the retromandibular vein is a hurdle during this procedure and may affect the venous drainage pattern from the head and neck.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-137
Number of pages3
JournalAnatomy and Cell Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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