Anatomy@Edinburgh

A rare case with double popliteal veins

Former MSc Human Anatomy students Leandros Rapteas, Rena Taher, Julie Dockerty, Scott Findlater and their supervisor Abduelmenem Alashkham have presented their work at the British Association of Clinical Anatomists conference in which deep vein thrombosis occurs at an annual incidence of about 1 per 1000 adults.

Due to several factors, including lower limb vein variations, its management is a challenge for doctors of all disciplines. Therefore, understanding the anatomy of the lower extremity veins is essential for successful varicose vein treatment. During routine dissection of an 81-year- old male cadaver in Anatomy, University of Edinburgh, the left popliteal vein was observed to have a variability. The popliteal vein, which is a continuation of the posterior and anterior tibial veins was formed at popliteus inferior border. The popliteal vein immediately bifurcated into two veins, the popliteal vein proper and an aberrant vein. The popliteal vein proper followed its classical course and ran through the adductor hiatus and continued as a femoral vein. Whereas, the aberrant vein traversed the popliteal fossa and ran superiorly passing through muscles of the posterior, medial and then anterior compartments of the thigh and terminate by draining into the femoral vein in the femoral triangle. The small saphenous vein drained into the aberrant vein in mid-thigh. To conclude, variations in lower limb venous anatomy are common and have important implications for the US diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis.