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J Vasc Surg. 2001 Aug;34(2):241-6.

Fascial relationships of the short saphenous vein.

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Department of Anatomy, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.



The purpose of this study was to define the relationships between the short saphenous vein (SSV) and the fasciae of the leg, including the muscular fascia (MF) and the membranous layer (ML) of the subcutaneous tissue.


Fascial relationships of the SSV were evaluated by means of dissection in 30 cadaveric limbs and by means of duplex sonography in 270 healthy limbs from living subjects.


All along the leg, the SSV courses in a flat compartment delimited by the MF and the ML. Neither results from dissection nor results from sonographic examination demonstrated piercing of the MF by the SSV. A hyperechoic lamina similar to a ligament connects the SSV to the fasciae by which it is encased. An SSV tributary and collateral vessels course out of this space and are devoid of any fascial wrapping.


The SSV does not correspond to the classical description of a "superficial" vein. In fact, from the anatomical point of view, the SSV is an interfascial vein, because it is encased by two connective fasciae, just like the greater saphenous vein. Fascial relationships of the SSV suggest that muscular contraction potentially influences the caliber and hemodynamics of the SSV. In addition, the ML is arranged as a sort of mechanical shield that could counteract dilative pathologic conditions in varicose limbs.

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