including femoral vein.
Drawing of the left femoral triangle - shows superior portion of the femoral vein.
|popliteal, profunda femoris, great saphenous|
|external iliac vein|
In the human body, the femoral vein is a blood vessel that accompanies the femoral artery in the femoral sheath. It begins at the adductor canal (also known as Hunter's canal) and is a continuation of the popliteal vein. It ends at the inferior margin of the inguinal ligament, where it becomes the external iliac vein.
Several large veins drain into the femoral vein:
Occlusion of the femoral vein can be life-threatening.
Use of the term superficial femoral vein
The term superficial femoral vein is recognized as a legitimate anatomic term.
- differentiate the femoral vein segments before and after the profunda femoris vein joins with it, and
- differentiate the distal segment of the femoral vein from the deep femoral vein (profunda femoris vein), which is paired with the profunda femoris artery.
The femoral vein is considered a deep vein, unlike the adjective superficial suggests and has led some physicians to falsely conclude it is a superficial vein, which has resulted in patients (with deep vein thrombosis) being denied efficacious anticoagulant or thrombolytic therapy.
- Bundens WP, Bergan JJ, Halasz NA, Murray J, Drehobl M. The superficial femoral vein. A potentially lethal misnomer. JAMA. 1995 Oct 25;274(16):1296-8. PMID 7563535.
- Maliphant J, Scott J. Use of the femoral vein ('groin injecting') by a sample of needle exchange clients in Bristol, UK. Harm Reduction Journal 2005, 2:6. Free Full Text.
- Hammond I. The superficial femoral vein. Radiology. 2003 Nov;229(2):604; discussion 604-6. PMID 14595157. Full Text.
- Gray's s157 - "The Arteries of the Lower Extremity"
- Anatomy figure: 12:05-01 at Human Anatomy Online, SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "Veins of the lower extremity shown in association with major landmarks."
- Cross section image: pelvis/pelvis-e12-15 - Plastination Laboratory at the Medical University of Vienna