The posterior auricular vein is the name for a vein that is formed via the collection of several venous tributaries situated behind the ear.

The auricular veins combine with the posterior facial vein, and, in turn, create the external jugular vein. This occurs when the vein travels behind the auricula (external ear) and then merges with the back portion of the posterior facial vein. The external jugular vein drains the majority of the blood of the cranium’s exterior portion. The vein also receives blood from the deepest sections of the face.

The posterior auricular vein starts out on one side of the head. It starts within a plexus, which is a network of veins. The plexus is capable of communicating with the tributaries of both the superficial temporal vein and occipital vein. The posterior auricular vein also joins the stylomastoid vein, which is responsible for draining out the tympanic cavity (a portion of the middle ear) into the retromandibular vein.