World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Femoral vein

Article Id: WHEBN0002072649
Reproduction Date:

Title: Femoral vein  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, Human leg, House of Blood murders, Heroin, Adductor canal
Collection: Veins of the Lower Limb
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Femoral vein

Femoral vein
including femoral vein.
Drawing of the left femoral triangle - shows superior portion of the femoral vein.
Latin vena femoralis
popliteal, profunda femoris, great saphenous
Drains to
external iliac vein
femoral artery
Gray's p.672
MeSH A07.231.908.314
Anatomical terminology

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.


  • Drainage 1
  • Clinical significance 2
  • Use of the term superficial femoral vein 3
  • Additional images 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Superficial veins draining into the femoral vein.

Several large veins drain into the femoral vein:

Clinical significance

Occlusion of the femoral vein can be life-threatening.[1]

The practice of delivering recreational drugs intravenously using the femoral vein is relatively common amongst injecting drug users (IDUs).[2]

Use of the term superficial femoral vein

The term superficial femoral vein is recognized as a legitimate anatomic term.[3]

However, some specialist physicians (e.g. radiologists, and orthopaedic/vascular surgeons) use the term superficial femoral vein for the distal part of the femoral vein to:

  1. differentiate the femoral vein segments before and after the profunda femoris vein joins with it, and
  2. differentiate the distal segment of the femoral vein from the deep femoral vein (profunda femoris vein), which is paired with the profunda femoris artery.

Usage of this term is discouraged by many physicians because it leads to confusion among general medical practitioners.[1]

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.[3]

Additional images


  1. ^ a b 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b Hammond I. The superficial femoral vein. Radiology. 2003 Nov;229(2):604; discussion 604-6. PMID 14595157. Full Text.

External links

  • 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
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.