Evaluation of the External Jugular Vein Overlying the Sternocleidomastoid Muscle as Venous Lymph-Node Flap

Lorenz Kadletz-Wanke*, Felicitas Oberndorfer, Erik Grabner, Lukas Kenner, Klaus F. Schrögendorfer, Gregor Heiduschka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Until recently, vascularized lymph-node flaps were based on arterial and venous donor vessels. Now, venous lymph-node flaps form a novel promising concept in the treatment of advanced-stage lymphedema. In preliminary studies, the external jugular vein has shown promising results as a venous lymph-node flap. However, nothing is known about the number of lymph nodes adjacent to the external jugular vein. Methods: Standardized specimens of the external jugular vein and surrounding fatty tissue directly overlying the sternocleidomastoid muscle were obtained during routine neck dissection. Histologic evaluation was performed in order to evaluate for the presence of lymph nodes within the tissue. Results: A total of 20 specimens were evaluated. There was no vein in 4 of the samples. We found lymph nodes in 9 of the remaining 16 samples. In 7 samples, lymph nodes were absent. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the vein directly overlying the sternocleidomastoid muscle may not be the ideal candidate for a venous lymph-node flap.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1812
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • external jugular vein
  • lymph edema
  • lymphatics
  • reconstruction
  • venous lymph-node flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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