The superior intercostal veins drain the second, third and occasionally the fourth intercostal spaces on their posterolateral aspect. They have different relations on the right and left sides.
The superior intercostal veins must be contrasted with the other posterior venous drainage routes of the intercostal spaces:
- supreme intercostal veins
- azygous vein
- hemiazygous vein
- accessory hemiazygous vein