Femoral vein

Femoral vein
Vein: Femoral vein
Femoral triangle.gif
Drawing of the left femoral triangle - shows superior portion of the femoral vein.
The femoral vein and its tributaries.
Latin vena femoralis
Gray's subject #173 672
Source popliteal, profunda femoris, great saphenous
Drains to external iliac vein
Artery femoral artery
MeSH Femoral+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:

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 not 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

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • femoral vein — n the chief vein of the thigh that is a continuation of the popliteal vein, accompanies the femoral artery in the upper part of its course, and continues above the inguinal ligament as the external iliac vein * * * vena femoralis …   Medical dictionary

  • femoral vein — noun a vein that accompanies the femoral artery in the same sheath; a continuation of the popliteal vein; becomes the external iliac vein • Syn: ↑vena femoralis • Hypernyms: ↑vein, ↑vena, ↑venous blood vessel • Part Holonyms: ↑thigh …   Useful english dictionary

  • femoral vein deep — vena profunda femoris …   Medical dictionary

  • circumflex femoral vein — noun either of two veins that accompany arteries of the same name serving the hip and thigh • Syn: ↑vena circumflexus femoris • Hypernyms: ↑circumflex vein, ↑vena circumflexa …   Useful english dictionary

  • Femoral hernia — Classification and external resources ICD 10 K41 ICD 9 553.0 …   Wikipedia

  • Femoral — can refer to: * Femoral artery * Femoral vein * Femur * Femoral triangle * Femoral nerve …   Wikipedia

  • femoral canal — n the space that is situated between the femoral vein and the inner wall of the femoral sheath, is from a quarter to half an inch (6 to 13 millimeters) long, and extends from the femoral ring to the saphenous opening * * * canalis femoralis …   Medical dictionary

  • Femoral vessel — may refer to:* Femoral artery * Femoral vein …   Wikipedia

  • Femoral triangle — Infobox Anatomy Name = PAGENAME Latin = trigonum femorale GraySubject = 157 GrayPage = 626 Caption = Drawing of the left femoral triangle shows superior portion of the femoral vein. Caption2 = Right femoral sheath laid open to show its three… …   Wikipedia

  • Femoral artery — Infobox Artery Name = PAGENAME Latin = arteria femoralis GraySubject = 157 GrayPage = 623 Caption = Structures passing behind the inguinal ligament. (Femoral artery labeled at upper right.) Caption2 = Femoral artery and its major branches right… …   Wikipedia

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