The circulatory system consists of the heart, arteries and veins and capillaries. Veins perform the task of carrying blood from the capillaries back to the heart. The smallest vein are termed as venules which are very thin. These venules join together to form bigger veins that continue and open in to the heart. Veins carry deoxygenated blood which is dark in color as it is depleted of oxygen at this point. The veins have very thin walls and are not strong like the arteries because they perform the function of returning back the blood to the heart during which the pressure is very less. There are 2 subclavian veins in our body and they follow the subclavian artery.
The subclavian veins are placed on both the sides of the body and are two big veins with the diameter the size of the pinky(or the smallest finger). The subclavian vein travels from the outside border of first rib and meets the anterior scalene muscle’s medial border. It is considered as the continuing vein of the axillary vein. Further from here, the subclavian vein meets the internal jugular vein and gives rise to brachiocephalic vein which is also termed as innominate vein whereas the angle of meeting point is called as venous angle. The subclavian vein runs behind the subclavian artery and the anterior scalene separates it posteriorly.
The thoracic duct pours into the meeting point of left subclavian vein and the internal jugular vein junction. This duct comprises of lymph, a fluid of water and solutes taken from the lymphatic system and also the chylomicrons or chyle that are created inside the intestines from lipids and dietary fat. The lymph fluid of right lymphatic duct is poured into the meeting point of right subclavian vein and the right internal jugular vein.
Subclavian thrombosis is the obstruction of blood flow in the subclavian vein. The use of catheters and transvenous pacemakers has become a common clinical method. Introduction of such medical equipments or gadgets into the subclavian vein changes the flow of the veins due to which turbulence occurs. As a result, various changes like platelet aggregation, procoagulant release and fibrin deposition occurs due to which there is decrease in the lumen of the vessel. This process further results into thrombus formation and finally reaches the total vessel occlusion. Thrombophlebitis has been known to be caused by intravenous medications and also by parenteral nutrition. Sometimes this problem is caused due to involvement in precipitating activities and also some sports like cricket, gymnastics, swimming, polo etc.
Who discovered the subclavian vein?
The thrombosis subclavian vein was first discovered by Sir James Paget around 1875. But initially during his observation he thought that the pain and swelling which was caused by this disorder emanated due to syndrome of vasospasm. But in 1884, von Schrötter explained that this pain was caused by occluvise thrombosis of the axillary veins and subclavian veins. This discovery was later termed as Paget-von Schrötter syndrome. The subclavian vein thrombosis is also a related condition which is caused by the indwelling catheters. Owing to rise in the administration of intravenous fluid in patients in the past two decades or so, subclavian vein thromobosis problem has elevated manifold. Increase in the use of catheters for patients suffering from serious injuries, chronic conditions or diseases like cancer and heart problem has led to increase in this problem.