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Jornal Vascular Brasileiro

Print version ISSN 1677-5449On-line version ISSN 1677-7301

J. vasc. bras. vol.6 no.1 Porto Alegre Mar. 2007 



Anatomic study of the soleus veins in human beings



Carlos Miguel Gomes Sequeira

Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. PhD in Vascular Surgery, Universidade Federal de São Paulo – Escola Paulista de Medicina (UNIFESP–EPM), São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Member, Colégio Brasileiro de Cirurgiões (CBC). Member, SBACV. E-mail:




INTRODUCTION: The etiopathology of thromboembolic and venous diseases of the lower limbs is more frequently related to the veins of the soleus muscle, which is the most used for composing the pedicle myocutaneous flaps.
OBJECTIVES: To study the number, localization, termination plane and termination of soleal veins.
METHODS: Detailed, stratigraphic anatomical dissections were carried out in the posterior crural segment of 100 legs of 50 fresh cadavers, excluding those belonging to subjects with congenital or acquired deficiencies of the lower limbs. After the skin was reflected on both sides, the following steps were carried out: dissection of superficial and perforating veins, reflection of subcutaneous tissue and fascia, detachment and reflection of the gastrocnemius and plantaris muscles, detachment of the tibial origin of the soleus muscle, differentiation of the soleal veins and morphometric parameters. The region was divided into six sectors: superior medial, superior lateral, midmedial, mediolateral, inferior medial and inferior lateral. The parameters were applied to age, sex, color, biotype, laterality, leg–foot height, length and width of the soleus muscle, which were correlated with the number, localization, termination plane and termination of soleal veins. Data obtained from Mann–Whitney, Wilcoxon, Kruskal–Wallis, Spearman and Friedman nonparametric tests were used for statistical analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 4,679 soleal veins were found. The sector with the greater number of soleal veins was the superior lateral with 1,529 veins (32.7%), followed by the midmedial with 1,256 veins (26.8%) and finally the mediolateral sector with 975 veins (20.8%). The most frequent soleal vein termination plane was the deep plane (62.4%). The terminations were into communicating veins (1,207 veins – 25.8%), posterior tibial veins (964 veins – 20.6%), peroneal veins (709 veins –15.2%) and in other 32 types (1,799 veins – 38.4%). Mean leg–foot height was 45.3 cm; mean length and width of the soleus muscle was 39.4 and 8.3 cm, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The venous drainage of the soleus muscle is performed by a great number of soleal veins, which are often located in the superior lateral, midmedial and mediolateral sectors Their flow off was in deep veins, with terminations commonly into the posterior tibial, peroneal and communicating veins. Slender types have greater leg–foot height and longer soleus muscles, whereas medium types have more soleal veins.

Keywords: Soleus muscle, veins, human being, anatomy.



Abstract submitted September 1, 2006, accepted February 21, 2007.



This dissertation was presented at UNIFESP–EPM to obtain the title of PhD in Sciences, Graduate Program in Vascular, Cardiac, Thoracic Surgery and Anesthesiology, Emphasis on Vascular Surgery. This study was carried out at Faculdade de Medicina (UFRJ) and at UNIFESP–EPM.
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Fausto Miranda Júnior
Presentation: 24/11/2005
Examiners: Prof. Dr. Fausto Miranda Júnior, Prof. Dr. José Carlos Prates, Prof. Dr. Luis Francisco Poli de Figueiredo, Prof. Dr. Carlos Eli Piccinato, Prof. Dr. Walter Castelli Júnior.

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