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A Journal on Angiology

Official Journal of the International Union of Angiology, the International Union of Phlebology and the Central European Vascular Forum
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International Angiology 2001 September;20(3):225-33

language: English

Giacomini’s observations “on the superficial veins of the abdominal limb and principally the external saphenous”

Georgiev M. *, Myers K. A. **, Belcaro G. ***

On behalf of the St Mary’s Society of Vascular Fellows, and from the * Department of Angiology, Latina, Italy, ** Department of Vascular Surgery, Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, Australia, and *** Vascular Department of Biomedical Sciences, Chieti University, Italy, and Irvine Laboratory for Cardiovascular Research, St Mary’s Hospital, London, UK


Carlo Giacomini, later Professor of Anatomy at the University of Turin, Italy, presented a thesis on superficial and deep lower limb venous anatomy in July 1873. This resulted in his name being associated with a vein that he described in detail that passes up deep to the fascia on the back of the thigh. However, the precise nature of his detailed and insightful observations have not previously been presented, at least for the past century. The Authors were able to find and translate the original manuscript, and the first section on the superficial veins is presented here. Giacomini documented the several variations in the origin and terminations, and anterograde and retrograde flow in this vein that have only recently been rediscovered by duplex ultrasound scanning. Much can be learned from his descriptions by all who are involved in treating chronic venous disease.

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