Architectonic arrangement of the vasa vasorum of the human great saphenous vein

Journal of Vascular Research
David KachlikMarek Setina


The detailed spatial arrangement of the vasa vasorum (VV) of the human great saphenous vein (HGSV) was demonstrated in qualitative and quantitative terms. Segments of the HGSV taken from cadavers 12-24 h post mortem and from patients undergoing aortocoronary bypassing were studied by light microscopy of India-ink-injected specimens and by scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion casts. Arterial feeders were found to approach the HGSV from nearby arteries every 15 mm forming a rich capillary network within the adventitia and the outer two thirds of the media in normal HGSV, while in HGSV with intimal hyperplasia capillary meshes extended into the inner layers of the media. Within the media, capillary meshes ran circularly. Postcapillary venules drained centrifugally towards the adventitial venous vessels which finally formed venous drainers running adjacent to the arterial feeders. Three-dimensional morphometry of vascular corrosion casts of VV revealed that diameters of (i) arterial VV ranged from 11.6 to 36.6 microm, (ii) capillary VV from 4.7 to 11.6 microm and (iii) venous VV ranged from 11.6 to 200.3 microm. The 3D network of VV suggests these layers are metabolically highly active and therefore require a continuo...Continue Reading


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