Do superficial epigastric veins of rats have valves?

Luigi Valdatta, Alessandro Thioné, Mara Buoro, Angela Faga, Terenzio Congiu, Carlo Dall'Orbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rat is a good model for experimental studies on the haemodynamic patterns of free-flap transfer but models involving the superficial epigastric vein have not been supported by the demonstration of the anatomical presence or absence of valves inside it. We performed a morphological study to assess whether or not valves are present inside the superficial epigastric vein of the rat. Segments of superficial epigastric veins were explanted from fifteen Sprague-Dawley rats. The lumen was studied with scanning electron microscopy after longitudinal or transverse incision of the venous walls. No valves were detected and we saw no evidence of their accidental removal. As most human veins do have valves, the clinical implications of haemodynamic data on reverse-flow island flaps obtained in rats must be considered very carefully.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-153
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Plastic Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Microsurgery
  • Rat
  • Venous valves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery


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