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The Giacomini vein or thigh extension of the small saphenous vein refers to a variation in lower limb venous anatomy whereby the small saphenous vein (SSV) continues through to the thigh as a distinct branch.
The persistence of this vein may play a contributory role in the development of chronic venous disease. It is, therefore, an important vein to assess during duplex venous ultrasound assessment of the lower limb.
It has a reported prevalence in some form or another of ~75% in the general population 4,5.
History and etymology
It is named after Carlo Giacomini (1840-1898) late Professor of Anatomy at the University of Turin, Italy, who presented a thesis on superficial and deep lower limb venous anatomy in July 1873 3,6. The band of Giacomini and Giacomini vertebrae are also named after this Italian anatomist and neuroscientist 6.
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- 2. Georgiev M, Myers KA, Belcaro G. The thigh extension of the lesser saphenous vein: from Giacomini's observations to ultrasound scan imaging. J. Vasc. Surg. 2003;37 (3): 558-63. doi:10.1067/mva.2003.77 - Pubmed citation
- 3. Georgiev M, Myers KA, Belcaro G et-al. Giacomini's observations on the superficial veins of the abdominal limb and principally the external saphenous. Int Angiol. 2002;20 (3): 225-33. Pubmed citation
- 4. Delis KT, Knaggs AL, Khodabakhsh P. Prevalence, anatomic patterns, valvular competence, and clinical significance of the Giacomini vein. J. Vasc. Surg. 2004;40 (6): 1174-83. doi:10.1016/j.jvs.2004.09.019 - Pubmed citation
- 5. Oğuzkurt L. Ultrasonographic anatomy of the lower extremity superficial veins. Diagn Interv Radiol. 2011;18 (4): 423-30. doi:10.4261/1305-3825.DIR.5321-11.1 - Pubmed citation
- 6. Perrini P, Montemurro N, Iannelli A. The contribution of Carlo Giacomini (1840-1898): the limbus Giacomini and beyond. (2013) Neurosurgery. 72 (3): 475-81; discussion 481-2. doi:10.1227/NEU.0b013e31827fcda3 - Pubmed