Author: Edwin Ocran MBChB, MSc•Reviewer: Roberto Grujičić MDLast reviewed: September 22, 2021Reading time: 5 minutes

Femoral vein (Vena femoralis)

The femoral vein is a large vessel situated deep within the thigh. That is periodically referred to together the superficial femoral vein in order to distinguish it native the deep femoral vein. This hatchet is, however, misleading and rarely used as result of the fact that the ship is located deep in the thigh.

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The femoral vein is a direct extension of the popliteal vein simply proximal to the knee. The vein ascends to the inguinal region, whereby it passes posterior come the inguinal ligament together the external iliac vein to get in the abdomen. 

The key function that the femoral vein is to drain the lower limb.

Key facts around the femoral vein
Drains fromPopliteal vein
TributariesDeep femoral vein, good saphenous vein, lateral circumflex femoral veins, medial circumflex femoral veins
Drains toExternal iliac vein
Drainage areaLower limb

This post will comment on the anatomy and duty of the femoral vein.

Clinical relations
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The femoral vein begins at the adductor hiatus the the adductor magnus muscle as the proximal extension of the popliteal vein, into the anterior element of the thigh. It process proximally with the adductor canal (subsartorial canal or Hunter\"s canal) right into the femoral triangle, accompanying the femoral artery. The femoral vein then traverses the femoral sheath, simply lateral to the femoral canal. The terminates posterior come the inguinal ligament together the external iliac vein, i beg your pardon drains right into the usual iliac vein and also ultimately into the worse vena cava.

The relationship of the femoral vein come the femoral artery normally varies at various locations along its course. Distally, the vein lies posterolateral to the artery, when proximally, in ~ the apex the the femoral triangle, the vein lies posterior to the artery. At the base of the femoral triangle and also within the femoral sheath, however, the vein lies medial come the artery. The femoral vein generally has four to five valves at assorted points follow me its length.


Along that is course, the femoral vein receives several tributaries that drain structures that the reduced limb. The key tributaries include:


The deep femoral vein (deep vein that the thigh) empties into the femoral vein posteriorly, around 8 cm distal come the inguinal ligament. It is formed by perforating veins that drainpipe the surrounding muscles. Proximal come the entry allude of the deep femoral vein, the femoral vein is regularly referred to together the usual femoral vein.

To learn more about the veins the the lower limb, discover our articles, quizzes, video tutorials and also labeled diagrams.

key veins of the top limb discover study unit

Clinical relations

Femoral vein access

The femoral vein is a usual site of venous accessibility for catheterisation and venous sampling mainly since it offers easy accessibility to the best atrium the the heart. A great appreciation that the arrangement of structures within the femoral triangle is forced to safely carry out this procedure. Under sterile conditions, physicians first palpate for the femoral pulse about 1 centimeter to 2 centimeter inferior to the inguinal ligament. The femoral artery is situated at the midpoint between the anterior remarkable iliac spine and also the pubic symphysis. Through the femoral pulse identified, the femoral vein is accessed about 0.5 centimeter to 1 centimeter medial to the pulsation. This procedure is, however, often performed under ultrasound accuse to boost accuracy and to provide added information around vessels and surrounding structures.



Castro, D., Lee, L. M. M., & Gossman, W. (2019). Femoral Vein main Venous Access. In StatPearls . StatPearls Publishing.Moore, K. L., Dalley, A. F., & Agur, A. M. R. (2014). Clinically Oriented Anatomy (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Netter, F. (2019). Atlas of human being Anatomy (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.Standring, S. (2016). Gray\"s Anatomy (41st ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M., Loukas, M., & Bergman, R. A. (2016). Bergman\"s comprehensive encyclopedia of human being anatomic variation. Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell.


Femoral vein (Vena femoralis) - Begoña Rodriguez

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