Primary lower limb varicosities arising directly from normal deep venous systems: a series report.Ann Vasc Surg. 2000 Mar; 14(2):166-9.AV
Primary lower limb varicosities classically arise from incompetence of the junction of the superficial and the deep venous systems with retrograde flow into the saphenous veins. However, some patients with superficial varicosities have no demonstrable incompetence of the saphenofemoral or saphenopopliteal junctions. In this study, we examined 52 limbs with primary varicose disease in whom saphenofemoral and saphenopopliteal incompetence had been excluded (clinically and with the hand-held Doppler) using a duplex ultrasound scan. Seventeen (33%) of the limbs had superficial varicosities despite normal long and short saphenous veins. The varicosities in 12 of these legs originated from groin veins, while those in the remaining 5 limbs communicated directly with normal deep veins. In this latter group of limbs, the superficial varicosities were found on the lateral aspect of the thighs only. Primary varicosities arising from normal deep venous systems have not been previously described, and are relatively rare (1.0% of patients referred to our clinic). As this complex venular anatomy was only detected on duplex scanning, we conclude that this study provides further evidence of the need for this imaging modality in patients with varicose disease of uncertain origin and/or those with an unusual distribution of superficial varicosities.