The Journal of Medical Sciences

Register      Login

VOLUME 10 , ISSUE 1--4 ( January-December, 2024 ) > List of Articles


A Systematic Review of Anatomical Variations and Clinical Significance of the Human Saphenous Vein

Sonal P Nahar, Pradeep S Nahar

Keywords : Anatomical variations, Clinical significance, Lower limb, Saphenous vein, Surgical procedures, Systematic review, Venous access

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10045-00263

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 20-06-2024

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2024; The Author(s).


Aims and background: A great saphenous vein (GSV) is a significant superficial vein of the lower limb, frequently utilized for various medical procedures including venous access, vascular surgeries, and grafting. This systematic review aims to comprehensively analyze the research articles on anatomical variations of the human GSV, including its course, termination, size, and relationship with surrounding structures. The primary outcome of this review was the anatomical variation of the GSV at different regions of the lower limb. Materials and methods: The search was conducted through November 2023, utilizing the electronic databases PubMed, Cochrane Library, ScienceDirect, Google Scholar, SciELO, and manual searches of reference lists for articles published between 2005 and 2023. The number of articles reviewed was 10. Results: Most of the studies were performed by venous ultrasound (41.96%) and computed tomography venography (39.43%), while other studies used dissection (9.5%). One study was conducted postmortem (4.2%), and another utilized histological examination (2.04%). Conclusion: Most commonly, the GSV is located medially, and true duplication of the GSV was identified as an infrequent occurrence in only 1% of cases. Complications with the saphenous veins, as well as other leg veins, can give rise to an array of distressing symptoms. Clinical significance: The review will also explore the clinical significance of these variations, such as their impact on surgical procedures, ultrasound-guided interventions, and clinical assessments. Phlebography remains an indispensable tool for detecting and diagnosing complex venous conditions.

PDF Share
  1. Singh V. Textbook of Anatomy Abdomen and lower limb, 2nd edition. Elsevier; 2014. p. 458.
  2. Page M, McKenzie J, Bossuyt P, et al. The PRISMA 2020 statement: an updated guideline for reporting systematic reviews. BMJ 2021;372:n71. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.n71
  3. Datta A K. Essential of Human Anatomy Superior and Inferior Extremities, 4th edition. Current Book International; 2013. pp. 161–162.
  4. Portugal I, Ribeiro I, Sousa-Rodrigues C, et al. Distribution of Saphenous vein valves and its practical importance. Revista Brasileira de Cirurgia Cardiovascular 2014;29(4):564–568. DOI: 10.5935/1678-9741.20140038
  5. Albricker A, Andrade A, Almeida D, et al. Association between anatomical variation of the great saphenous vein and venous failure in patients undergoing vascular ultrasound of the lower limbs. Arq Bras Cardiol: Imagem cardiovasc 2018;31(2):90–94. DOI: 10.5935/2318-8219.20180012
  6. Yuce I, Oguzkurt L, Eren S, et al. Assessment of posterior accessory great saphenous vein of the leg using ultrasonography: a preliminary study. Surg Radiol Anatomy 2016;38(1):123–126. DOI: 10.1007/s00276-015-1523-7
  7. Kockaert M, de Roos K, van Dijk L, et al. Duplication of the great saphenous vein: a definition problem and implications for therapy. Dermatol Surg 2012;38(1):77–82. DOI: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2011.02154.x
  8. Chen SS, Prasad SK. Long saphenous vein and its anatomical variations. Australas J Ultrasound Med 2009;12(1):28–31. DOI: 10.1002/j.2205-0140.2009.tb00004.x
  9. Kim R, Lee W, Park E, et al. Anatomic variations of lower extremity venous system in varicose vein patients: demonstration by three-dimensional CT venography. Acta Radiologica 2017;58(5):542–549. DOI: 10.1177/0284185116665420
  10. Senevirathne S, Nimana H, Pirannavan R, et al. Anatomic description of the distal great saphenous vein to facilitate peripheral venous access during resuscitation: a cadaveric study. Patient Saf Surg 2023;17(1):2. DOI: 10.1186/s13037-023-00351-2
  11. Woo S, Wong T, Chan W, et al. Anatomic variations of neurovascular structures of the ankle in relation to arthroscopic portals: a cadaveric study of Chinese subjects. J Orthopaed Surg (Hong Kong) 2010;18(1):71–75. DOI: 10.1177/230949901001800116
  12. Ndiaye A, Ndiaye A, Ndoye J, et al. The arch of the great saphenous vein: Anatomical bases for failures and recurrences after surgical treatment of varices in the pelvic limb. About 54 dissections. Surg Radiologic Anatomy 2006;28(1):18–24. DOI: 10.1007/s00276-005-0046-z
  13. Tothonglor A, Agthong S, Huanmanop T, et al. Sartorial branch of saphenous nerve: anatomical relationship with bony landmarks and great saphenous vein. Int J Morphol 2013;31(2):432–437. DOI: 10.4067/S0717-95022013000200011
  14. Veverková L, Jedlička V, Vlček P, et al. The anatomical relationship between the saphenous nerve and the great saphenous vein. Phlebology 2011;26(3):114–118. DOI: 10.1258/phleb.2010.010011
  15. Uhl JF. Focus on venous embryogenesis of the human lower limbs. Phlebolymphology 2015;22(2):55–63. Available from:
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.